There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4, 8
The sun doesn’t rise until after 7:00 here. Even after sunrise, the dimness of cloudcover endows the day with a solemnent feeling. People drive around with their headlights on all the time; readers doze at their books; dogs lay lazily, eyeing nut-stashing squirrels with the utmost lethargy. We just savor the dimness, feeling warm and cozy in our pools of golden light as we sink into the deep leather embrace of my parents’ new (unfamiliarly expensive) recliners. Only the flurrying wind, storming through cracks and crannies, shaking small cars and ripping leaves from their branches, moves with energy. It could drive rain before it, but it isn’t today.
I raked leaves in the backyard. They billowed away from my rake in flutters of yellow, swirled by the impetus of my thrust and by the fury of the wind whipping through the yard. Some, impaled by the rake’s tines, tenaciously stuck through sweep after sweep. Eventualy I have to pull those off by hand, give them the red-carpet treatment in their journey to the compost heap. The dog nipped at some of the leaves, then switched to carrying her red plastic bone (I stuck burned bacon inside) around – easier than catching leaves.
Although choices loom (I envision them as giant cargo ships steaming unswervingly towards me), time slows – perhaps even freezes – as quiet leaves swirl up and down, circling in vortices, the children of buildings and wind.
Fall in the Northwest.