Today was a beautiful autumn day. Oh, my. Sun and breeze. Damp left over from the rain last week. It’s the best of seasons, in my opinion. Winter has its harsh beauty, its washed colors and sharp-edged air. Spring is a delight, all bursting open and fragrant. Summer is full of scents of its own, and the lingering memory of when we could be lazy for weeks at a time. But autumn, autumn is the one. Between the days of rain returning after the summer, there are golden afternoons, so short in the seasonal clock they’re precious as a lover’s kisses. There are nights with crystalline skies, Orion tipping onto his head in a slow saltation. Dawn comes wrapped in mist, making familiar places secret and unknown. And the sun, the sun is orange in the day.
It was an afternoon of common chores. Because the steel walls of the studio were warm, we opened the door to let in the air. We made firewood of the long bones of the old house. Richard cut the old framing members into stove lengths and I stacked.
It was pretty casual labor. After a while I left him to it, and walked into the woods with my hand clippers and some buckets. It’s greens cutting time.
These are the ingredients:
I love the trips into the woods for cutting. It’s a bonus if I can go on a brilliant afternoon, but a good seasonal storm won’t keep me in the house. Here I have the makings for several holiday wreaths: Douglas Fir, native Salal, Scotch Broom, and wild rose hips.
Here’s the result. This one is last year’s wreath. No rose hips. Last year they were few and soggy for some reason. This year, they’re abundant as ticks on a dog.
The wall on which that one was hanging is now deep into recycling, maybe part of someone else’s house.
Delightful as the day was, I kept looking over my shoulder as I went along the path. It seemed like there was something out there, nearby… some eyes on my back… some presence I couldn’t quite put a name on.
Even when I had my buckets full and was headed back, I kept glancing along the way, looking, listening, sniffing…
So when I came into the open track,
well, he scared the bejeepers out of me. He’s there in the picture, left of center, in the brush at the turn of the path.
Perhaps, he was just keeping an eye on me. He’s good that way. But a person wants to know if they have a guardian mule walking beside them through life.