Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Evening Walks

A storm to the south.
It's dark by 8 pm now.  There is the thinnest filament of cool threaded through the warm summer wind, which now comes more frequently from the northeast than from the south.  A fall wind.  Cool air collects in shallow hollows.  Yellow and brown dot the trees and the rattling sound of curled sycamore leaves clinging to their branches contains the germ of future ice storms and bitter, sweeping winds.  The night jars still wheel and dip in the twilight, but they'll be gone by October, replaced by Canada geese on the wing, heading south.

No matter.  The evening walks will go on.  A ritual created by the presence of Ike and his requirements for exercise, for exploring, for chasing and playing.  Turns out we require those things, too.  He is endlessly fascinated by the cows who briefly hold their ground, then amble off at the last moment, looking back at him reproachfully; and the rabbit that lives in the woods near the oil pump and the armadillo who, despite Ike's thundering run, makes good his escape every time.

Too fast to focus.
Last night there were many things to see: a skunk nosing the grass and dirt in the upper pasture; a very irritated Western Pygmy Rattler soaking up the last of the day's heat; ten or twelve poor-wills circling over the pasture; a new pile of bones under a cedar tree and Ike discovered the fun of jumping into the new pond and out again - while his friend, Winston, stood stoically - and dry - on the shore.  Winston sometimes joins us for both our morning and evening walks and is teaching Ike the seriousness of patrolling one's territory.

It's not quite yet, but it soon will be, the most lovely, the most melancholy time of the year.  As summer loosens its blazing grip, as the days shorten and evenings cool into purple, the sense of time passing - of the past - heightens.  It's a delicate season.  Its bittersweet flavor makes it my favorite, yet I also dread its coming.  And there a place of perpetual fall?  If so, I might like to live there and walk through the twilight.

Winston in the rosy twilight.


  1. This season creates/stirs so much emotion. This is the time of year that I'm much more likely to cry--waves of grief, longing, and desperation. I'd guess that, for many people, the other three seasons just don't work on us in the same way. I wonder why? I think you capture it well--it forces us to really acknowledge the passing of time. The end of this year is fast approaching, much like the ends of our lives. (I'm not trying to be dramatic here--it just seems as though the older I get, the faster the end is moving toward me.)

  2. Lovely post, Annie - you captured so many moods in so few perfectly selected words!

    Autumn has always been my favorite time of year - and while one can't help but feel slightly bittersweet about the fading away of life, you have to love the irony that nature reminds us that life should go out in a blaze of glory!

    Now I'm homesick for the Midwest - weather here in the Valley of the Sun doesn't afford us much in the way of seasons, but luckily the mountains aren't that far away! Thanks for painting such a lovely scene for the spirit!


  3. We do seem to think along the same lines! Love the fall colours, but it is a bitter sweet time hailing the rapid onset of winter and its chills. That was one of the reasons we left Canada to return to the UK (it didn't snow as much in the latter!) Even that has changed during the last two years - our past appears to have caught up with us!

    By the way, Winston is indeed an interesting mix! Could definitely have Bull Terrier in him from the look of his shoulders: his head and markings are difficult to label though! Definitely an exciting Saturday night special when he was created!


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