This morning served up one of those astonishing cusp-of-autumn treats you wish you could store in a bottle and pour out some dreary winter afternoon when you needed a bit of cheering up.
On the deck, I slid the rocking chair to the end overlooking the river, where I could sit with my feet up on the bench and savor a third cup of coffee while better taking in the view.
The sky was brilliant and clear, of a shade somewhere between azure and cobalt. A turkey vulture came floating above the tops of the trees and began spiraling upwards over the river—a wheeling silhouette amid the luminous sea of blue.
What I wouldn’t give to be able to ride the rising thermals high into the sky like that old buzzard…
The deck was in shadows, cool and still damp from the night’s dew. Moon, a most sensible dog, found herself a pool of sunshine on the gravel driveway in which to stretch out and warm her aging bones. My aging bones could have used their own bit of heat treating—especially since I spent most of yesterday afternoon planting bushes and perennials around the yard.
Hereabouts, digging even a modest hole often entails—besides the usual shovel—a heavy-duty crowbar, a pix-axe, mattock, hours of time, mulish patience, a willingness to sweat, a handy vocabulary of imprecations, a reckless disregard for blisters and personal bloodshed…plus the sense and willingness to admit defeat when nothing short of a stick of dynamite is going to get you another inch into the rock-filled earth.
You don’t so much dig as you chip and scrap and curse your way to victory.
Autumn color is not yet much in evidence here along the river—though the sycamores have a few gold-brown leaves scattered among the green, and the hackberries are showing a bit of pale yellow.
I hoped it wasn’t the big army-green grasshopper who kept eyeing me from atop a fallen leaf where he sat, lethargic in the coolness, waiting for the temperature to rise and get him charged and going.
You don't get many mornings such as this in a given year. Certainly not near enough. So I dawdled as long as I could, nursing my coffee, rocking, listening to the river…and thinking how much I love these transition days, when the seasons are on the move and the world around is responding, changing, getting ready.