Sunday, December 4, 2011

Before It Snows

I love an unsettled fall day, when the wind blows hard from the northeast - cold, but not yet cold.  The leaves that scuttle and scratch behind me as I walk.  As clattering and nearly as unnerving as a poltergeist: when you look back, you see nothing.

Sunlight is yesterday's yellow memory.  Bloated, low-hanging clouds labor slowly across the sky while a plume of fast-moving and pure white clouds, like puffs from a steam engine, speed along the horizon line.  Icy drops of rain tap on shoulders, the patter increasing for a brief deluge, then stopping again in an instant.  Following the dog's lead I lift up my head to sniff the air.  Even my ill-equipped human's nose scents intrigue on the wind.

The earth feels spongy and soft.  Among the brown, dead tufts, tender and bright green blades of cold-weather grass flicker in the wind.  Pairs of ducks flush from the pond, rising with squeaky protest, pulling, pulling against gravity.  They circle, hoping I'll leave so they can return to the dark gray water and the reedy shelter of the rushes along the bank.

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