23 September 2014
Here we are two days into fall, my favorite season. The quality of the air shifts from languid, humid and often hot to a crisp, cool, more dense consistency that speaks of greater activity in the days to come. It no longer feels like breathing thick, moisture laden air through a straw on some days. The heat that dares one to move very much and weighs everything down until evening arrives. Autumn not only allows more activity, but entices it with trees that are turning different colors, fading from the industrial green of summer production to the yellows, reds and oranges that mark the passing season. The wind stirs the leaves that are hanging on to branches with a more tenuous grasp, waving goodbye in the breeze. The ground becoming more and more cluttered with the cast off leaves as the layer of ground clutter grows offering cover for the little creatures that populate the ground.
The major upright branch of one of the maples outside has already begun to turn reddish, its green leaves showing red between the veins of the leaf. Soon the rest of the tree and the other trees will join in the rush to shed first the color of summer, then the leaves themselves. I recall wonderful days driving the car along certain roads across bucolic scenes where trees changing color surrounded a farmyard, the trees in the woodlot beckoning to come explore, bring your dogs, see this woods. A lone maple in the front yard, some of its leaves a riot of color, some already on the ground, like a careful tree skirt spread out below the mass above, foretelling of a leaf journey soon to come.
The dogs have all died by now, buried in the back yard of the home that I no longer own. I am an eternal indoor resident in a facility that is determined to show that it does not understand, the need to get outside. To reconnect with the natural world of breezes, leaves trees and color. Most of the dogs that are brought here are nervous teeny canines, more suited to loudly announcing some faint of breeze or some other imaginary trangression than exhibiting calm doglike Retriever behavior. But somebody likes them, as accessories that lend style to their owners.
There are two maples, one red, the other yellow, which I can see from the windows whenever I can get the help to get out of bed and into the wheelchair. It has been years since I have scuffed and shuffled through leaves with my feet on a long walk. Somehow sitting on concrete in a wheelchair, my feet held several inches over the ground just doesn't come close. The ability to be in nature, connect with the earth has become the same as most modern humans – disconnected, separate, held apart. A view of the trees, at a distance. There is a sickness to this condition, a thin contact with the energy of nature, of being a part of the whole natural world. As if I am but an image of that which I used to be, supplanted by the ideas of those who believe they are keeping me safe and healthy by saving me from dirt (soil,) germs and becoming sick. I am already sick, of being so thoroughly reduced through a care routine that diminishes all that had once been important to me at a long ago time.
The calendar tells me of the season, the passing of the equinox. The astronomical signal for the season to begin. But those human held signs don't compete with the maple that resides beyond the window. Beckoning yet again.