Monday, October 16, 2006
This is the cow pasture where Chet likes to cheat death. See why I can't stay away? I have to watch it change day by day. So he goes on the leash. I'm learning. He never will.
If there's any season for walking, it's now. These ravishing, brilliant days will be gone soon, and the gray murk of winter clouds will settle over us like an unfriendly hen. (And this was written yesterday, a breathakingly beautiful day. And today I am under the Ohio Valley cloud-hen, not happy, for once, to be prophetic).
The air of October makes me glad to be alive, glad to be mobile, able to walk and breathe deeply. It makes me remember to be thankful for these things. It's so easy to get too far inside your head and think that you have real reason to be miserable. Get up out of your chair. Go outside. Breathe. Look up at the cloudless sky and think about all those who can't go for a walk in the October sunshine whenever they want to.
Don't waste an October day. Drink it in, like a fine old wine. Finish the bottle yourself. Throw your head back, close your eyes, and open them again to the colors. The sun will leave soon enough.
Remember to watch the sumac turn. It turns before your eyes, and then it's gone. A wet day, a gust of wind, and it will give up those flaming leaves and stand naked until April. Look at it now. That especially goes for ash trees, who are very beautiful, but afraid of rain and wind.
I like the way McKenzie's ponytail switches when she walks. I look at Phoebe and know she will be patting me on top of my head before I know it. As for Liam: My father always said that when kids get together in a group, the youngest always has the most fun, just for being included. And Liam led the way on this Sunday walk and felt important, and every now and then he'd comment, "I like my life. I'm glad I have you for a Mom and Daddy for a dad. This is a fun walk. This is a good place to live." Things like that. Hearing that from Liam, who has habitually looked for the dark center in every silver lining, was a balm to my soul.
In the end, all we can do is look for our own joy. Hooking your joy into someone else's-- allowing it to become completely dependent on theirs-- leads into a pathless thicket. When I lived in Connecticut, I wandered into a few thickets of mountain laurel. You step over, duck, step over, duck, trip, fall, step over, duck, and eventually lose your way. When you emerge, you're thoroughly muddy, beaten and scratched up.
Well, I'm learning
With a good dog and some trees
Out of touch with the breakdown of the century
We're not gonna fix it up
(Joni Mitchell, "Electricity")
photo by Shila Wilson thank you for the walk and the pictures
Posted by Julie Zickefoose at 5:57 PM