Monday, November 9, 2015

In the Woods

Like my dad, I call autumn my favorite season.  It is funny how peoples' favorite seasons rarely seem hard to guess correctly.  Aunt Laurie is a spring, and Mom is most definitely a summer.  Oh, sweet fall, though!  As Dad and I were saying last week, we would have it last until about the week before Christmas, then enjoy winter--even a blustery, freezing, and deep-snowed one--until oh, maybe a week after New Year's, and then move right into spring.  No gradual thaw, but just:  "Today, spring!"   (Remember in Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter how in bed in the wee hours of an April or May morning after the months of one-blizzard-after-another, Laura realized the wind was no longer howling outside and she could hear water dripping from the roof's eaves?  "The Chinook is blowing!" she yells to Pa, and he answers that he hears it too and that spring has come.  Oh, yes.  That's the one-moment-winter-and-the-next-moment-spring season-change we're wanting.)  And no more of the wishy-washy "springs" we've had lately that seem to be a week of warm temperatures when snow is still on the ground that causes us all to chatter about "What a nice break this is, after being so cold for so long!" but then the welcome "break" from winter becomes  a stretch of days in the upper seventies and then Mike and I have all our windows wide open during Easter dinner and our air conditioners on for the "summer" that is now beginning in May.  No, a true spring.  And then a proper summer next, with warm becoming hot and then turning hotter and then even humid, and right when you can't take the humidity anymore:  Fall!  Well, Dad and I aren't in charge, and no one's asked, but that's our report on How a Year Should Be. 

Last Monday afternoon while Dad stayed inside with Mom, I spent some time walking in the patch of woods behind their house and hardly wanted to go back indoors.  Fall color is past its peak at home, but enough remained to awe me.  The creek Dad dips his watering cans into for his gardens through the summer reflected mostly-bare branches and was lined by the mosses' and ferns' deep green and the surprising remainders of leaves glowing ruby and gold.  Birdhouses that Dad had built and painted barn-red were vibrant in the gray branches of a few trees, while patches of orange Chinese Lanterns dotted the woods like twinkling string lights at the bases of others.  There was enough of a breeze to sweep the pine needle and soil scents through the air but not so much as to make picture-taking impossible.  The only sounds were the bubbling of the creek and the leaves brushing against the trees.  The sun was setting as I finally turned the corner to head back into the field behind Mom and Dad's house, gifting me with the shadow pictures I so love, and a last heart-shaped leaf was awaiting me beside Dad's compost pile before I climbed the deck's steps and came in to change into pajamas for the night.  Glorious fall.  

6 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

Love the sound of being in the woods in the fall..I have mentioned I hear the stillness..

Val said...

Yes, the heard silence. Yes.

Nellie said...

You write so beautifully, Val! Lovely pictures, and a great walk in the woods. xo Nellie

Val said...

Oohh, thank you, Nellie! That means a lot to me.

Marie Rayner said...

Oh Val, your words are so beautiful. You took me on that walk with you. Thank you so much! xoxo

PS - I hear silence too. Especially when it is snowing. Big fluffy white flakes. Best sound ever.

Val said...

Thank you, Marie. Yes, the snow-silence. I look forward to that now. ♥