Driving down our road, the sky is bright, but the autumn sun has only just topped the hill behind the house, sending gleaming sunlight into the cold blue shadows of the yard. The long grass is coated with the thinnest layer of frost. In the shadows it looks pale blueish white with the green of the grass showing through. In the sunny spots it has already melted, making the wet grass vibrant against the leafless brown forested hill. But where the streaming sunbeams have only just newly touched the ground, the frost is glittering, sparkling, twinkling, tiny glimmers of iridescent light glistening as cold ice crystal sparks to life at the end of each blade of grass. It’s last brilliant miniature starburst before melting away.
Spent some time conscious and in an upright position today, walking around even. It is another perfect sunny fall day outside, windows open to the fresh air. There is a flower bed next to the driveway that has spring bulbs planted in it, but after they died back, the strip of fertile earth erupted in local wildflowers. I didn’t do anything with it all summer; it’s quite overgrown in that happy wild sort of way. At some point I will weed it out and put it to bed for the winter, but now there are daisies blooming. I have noticed that if the fall is warm, sunny, and prolonged into Indian summer, there are several late spring/ early summer flowers that enjoy a second bloom for the year. This opportunistic second bloom is never as abundant as the first one, but I like seeing daisies in October. These flowers are kind of like me in that I’m not ready for summer to end. We will all just ignore the shorter days and cold nights. The child’s happy yellow sun up there in the baby blue sky is just bright enough for us all to pretend that summer is endless, as endless as this moment right now can be! Knowing I’ll be weeding this patch of ground as soon as the surgery incision is healed enough for me to be comfortable doing physical labor, I decide to pick these daisies to put in a vase inside. After filling the vase, I check to see if all the small hard peaches in the brown bag are soft enough to eat. Oh yes! Some have started to get rotten spots. These little peaches from the tree in the yard that sprouted out of the compost pile 10 or so years ago get cut up into a bowl, every so lightly sprinkled with turbinado sugar with a dash of lemon juice. YUM! Peachy goodness! Summer sunshine in a bowel with smiling daisies on the counter. Life is good!
Late afternoon (which comes early this time of year), sun is starting to slide down toward the western horizon, and the day is as warm as it will get. I’m dozing in the hammock, soaking up the serenity of the brilliant autumn afternoon. Rocking gently, gazing up into the sky, eyes following the contours of the leafless trees on the hill behind the house, bathing in the serendipity of endless possibilities. I notice a dragonfly darting back and forth way up above me. It must be huge to look as big as it does being as far away as it is. I watch it’s astonishing sky dance as it swings, veers one way then suddenly lurches in another, randomly swiveling in all three dimensions. Maybe there is a swarm of small insects up there invisible to me down here. I watch this astounding acrobatic creature for quite a while, as long as it is within my sight. I realize it may be the last dragonfly I see this year as winter is just around the corner, already nights are cold, the song birds have left, and insects are few. However, I am so impressed with that dragonfly that I lay back and wait for a long time to see if it flies back into my presence, falling back into a languorous drowsy haze.
It is another glorious warm sunny Indian summer day. I am lounging in the hammock gazing out at the trees and sky desperately trying not to think about the cancer in my left breast. The surgery is soon and I am scared senseless of it. So for right now I let my mind wander into the endless bright blue of the cerulean sky, I soar with the excited birds through the tree branches, chittering with glee, ecstatic with the freedom of movement through the universe. I lazily drift in and out of consciousness, drowsing in the fall sunshine. I love life, I am happy here in my element, glad to have time to just relax and enjoy the forest, the creek, the birds, and my home here in the hollow.
Another brilliant fantastic Autumn day. Driving back from town, through the Catskill Mountains, Fall is in full swing. Every color imaginable from crushed brown to flaming orange, every hue from palest pink through dark purple to incandescent red, every hue from soft yellow green to richest glowing gold. The mountain sides are bursting with color, dazzling, dizzying, blazing color, gleaming in the lustrous sunlight. This is Autumn at its peak!
Dozing on the hammock again, soaking up the warm afternoon sunshine. I have been spending as much time as I can outside enjoying this warm Indian summer because I know it will not last. I bask in the heat of the day, making this sunshine memory to keep close when winter’s fury is scouring the mountains later. Open my eyes and soar into that vast expanse of sapphire sky, golden sun light bathing the landscape in gilded glory. I rock myself, watching the treetops swing back and forth, when a butterfly flits into my field of vision. Orange and black, flittering up, flitting down, headed in southerly direction. I follow its path with my eyes until it is out of sight. There are a few flowers left still growing, but it was not interested. A few minutes later another butterfly flutters by high overhead. Curious… Then come several more, flying in butterfly fashion, heading south. As I lay there, over the next half hour or so, many butterflies float by, singly or a few at a time, their delicate wings pumping furiously, carrying them to unknown places. Although I never got a close up look at any of them (why terrorize a helpless butterfly on a mission) I hypothesize they might be migrating Monarchs. If that is the case, this is the first time I have seen this phenomena! Amazing!
Another glorious Indian Summer fall day, warm yellow sunshine illuminating the changing leaves, warm gentle breeze sends golden leaves flitting toward earth. I am sitting in a rocking chair on the porch knitting, experiencing the sleepy contented tranquility of the afternoon. The spinning planet has the sun low enough in the sky to peek under the porch roof, sparkling in my eyes like paradise. Through the glare, as if from a dream, I slowly notice tiny shining bright sparks floating around the yard. They seem suspended, drifting lazily around with no particular purpose. At first, I think it’s some sort of airborne seed, like a dandelion. After watching them waft along for a few minutes, realization dawns that these are living creatures with wings, flying around in the late afternoon sunbeams, sunshine glinting off their fuzzy bodies making them shimmer, dazzling my eyes with fanciful ideas of fairies. Of course, they are some unidentified insect, but just for a moment, my daydreaming mind could almost believe!