Of course when we lived up north we wouldn’t have imagined this, sitting on our lanai watching the sun set the patchy sky ablaze sipping small glasses of port and wondering if a light jacket might be in order, as the beaver moon of November waxes slowly.
The cat, curled at our feet cannot imagine the icy wind howling down the street, the foreboding clouds offering their first flakes, knowing this is a small taste of what nature will bring forth before we could again sit in shirtsleeves on our porch.
An elk stands at the edge of a placid mountain lake and sees only the clouds of an approaching winter. A black bear leans over the mirrored surface of the lake and sees only the fish that will soon be his repast. The young man draped in saffron robes looks calmly into the water and sees a pebble, the spirit of his ancestors. I look carefully into the water looking for an answer to a question always lurking out of reach and see only my ever thinning hair.
FirstAppeared in Green’s Magazine (Canada), Vol. 29, No.1, Autumn 2000.
We sat on our lanai last night in our twin rockers, the cat curled close by but carefully removed from the rockers and stared into the sky hoping meteors would grace us with their fleeting presence.
The moon did appear, shrouded in thin clouds, spectral ghost waxing slowly in hiding, but the stars had fled this night, fearing the rain that the cloud mantle promised.
We never did see a meteor but we know they will return next year and the cat says it is hardly worth interrupting a good nap for a momentary flash of light, and we just touched hands and retreated to bed.
We imagine that they are disappearing into the clouds only to reemerge in a different place.
Nothing could be further from the truth for they, these raptors flying on monstroius wings, are shredding the clouds ripping free their fruit, eating of the sweetest parts, letting the rest fall down on us as we scurry away afraid of being soaked in their remnants.
The clouds this evening are the deep gray that so long to be black, but the retreated sun just below the horizon lingers long enough to deny them.
The space, shrinking, between the clouds, is the gray of promise that the night will soon deny, and the birds who take over the preserve, chant their vespers, each in his or her own language, uncommon tongues singing their hymn punctured, punctuated by the flapping of wings, as the night encloses us in a cocoon that will carry us into the coming morning.