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If dignity includes not rolling down a hill when the sun is warm and the grass is green, then dignity is just something I'm going to have to learn to live without.
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Traveling in a few hours. Packing light is easier than I expected--much can be accomplished by the stratagem of not taking any books home.

I love this weather. Cold, verily, but not bitterly so, damp and misty, just a thin layer of ice on everything except, thank goodness, the roads and sidewalks.

Ice rimes the leaves; if you're careful, you can peel the one off the other, and find yourself holding a fragile, perfect leaf of ice, as if from some glass plant.

Love winter. Somuch.
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Yesterday as I was walking down to the bus, the air was full of the smell of flowers. Yes, even without trying deliberately to smell the flowers they do make a difference to the air. It's not winter anymore.

It's spring.

In other news, I hate IR. Hate. With passion.
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I went for another walk today. It was wet, and then it was cold, and the ground was frozen. My feet crunch on the frozen leaves. The noonday sun gleams through the branches and made the pathway glisten silver. In the ground are crystals of frost, the same shape and color as quartz, tiny spikes and ribbed squares. There is a plant with black berries. When they die, the berries turn pale grey. They look like they are made of stone, like some New England Pompeii coated them with ash. Some kind of tree covers its berries with little yellow leaves. They fall and drift to the ground. They look like gold coins. The berries are very, very red.

Something rustles in the woods beside the path. I turn, walk ahead to get a better look, and see a rabbit bound away. Squirrels leap between the trees, and I can hear a chorus of birds singing in three-part harmony. I am alone, the only human I can see. I stand still and revel in the silence. There are so many tiny sounds that make up a silence. The twitter of birds, the whisper of leaves, the creak of dead wood.

There is a stream. I leave the path to reach it, clambering throughspiderwebs of thorny vines to a place where a fallen log crosses the stream. Lying on the log, on a heap of smaller sticks and leaves caught against it, I can touch the water that runs past, making a noise sweeter than laughter. Drops of ice like tears hang from drooping leaves.

I half-walk, half-slide down the bank to the place where rock rims the brook. There are little puddles of ice on the stones, but the brook flows by. If it were not November, I would like to cross the brook where I stand, where the water leaps over underwater rocks. Instead, I pull a frost-rimed leaf from the ground and set in on the water. It looks like a swan, with ice for the neck. I watch it flow away.

The evergreen trees carpet the ground with their needles. There never was a carpet so warm or so golden. The treetops sway, gold towers of faraway castles against a sky bluer than blue. No one's eyes are bluer than the sky.

I find a pinecone, small and perfect, fallen with some of its branch still attached. The twig is studded with buds, and two even smaller branches wind around the center one, the one tipped with the pinecone. It looks like a rose, a rose made of wood.

They used to say, the poor in Europe, that the streets of America were paved with gold. They didn't know how right they were, they who only saw the smog and iron cities. The streets are paved with gold, and silver, and bronze. The gold of flower petals, the silver of frost, and the bronze of pine needles beneath the trees under a midday sun.


If I stay around here taking walks much longer, I'll turn into an Annie Dillard (a nature writer of some repute).

Now I'm all numb. Not in an emotional sense, in a "You just spent an hour and a half at least out in the cold wearing fairly lightweight pants, no wonder you can't feel your legs!" sense.

Thanksgiving, by the way, was fun. It was truly a feast, as defined by "If everyone ate everything, they would be dead." As it was, Debbie spent the night here after throwing up violently. Such is life.

This has been a good day.
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I didn't NaNo today. I went for a walk instead. It was worth it.

There are plants whose seed pods look like the wings of a white bird, and whose seeds are women in white ball dresses, yards and yard of chiffon with their dark coiffed heads on top. There are red berries with orange flesh, block berries with green flesh, and dark purple berries with juice that is the color "magenta" was invented to describe. There is no more perfect gradation of blue anywhere than in the sky, so very pale at the horizon and deep, true blue straight above. The pond is deep blue, not ocean, but something uniquely freshwater. There are mallards. There is an egg the size of my fist, lying under a bush. I don't know where it came from. There is a place in the woods (cedar and thorns, and things I do not know) where there is a little clear space, and the sun shines through, making the needles glow a warm gold. There are little paths and archways you have to duck to get through. There is waterweed in the brook, flowing gently downstream. There are puddles, and footprints gone before. There are plants loosing seeds as fine and soft as tissues. Somewhere, birds are singing. You can see them, and whistle back, if you want to.

Who ever said you needed a wardrobe to reach Narnia? I've been there today, when I leave the coat I don't need on the path and duck under an arch of branch and bramble into a little clear space, carpeted green and gold, and I can hear the birds.

This is Narnia. This, this is magic.
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This is a perfect moment:

A girl dressed in black sits under a tree (two trees?) in the full colors of fall. Pine needles and maple leaves crunch as she shifts her weight. Above her, a canopy of red and yellow meets and mingles, leaves of a tree (two trees?) she has known like a best friend all her life. The wind rustles the leaves. When she walked up the drive earlier, they went crunch-crunch under her feet. Crunch-swiff, she swings her feet covered in leaves, crunch-swiff.

Riots of red, yellow, orange, and green surround her. She takes pictures of the best--yellow overlaid on red, red-orange-yellow and a fence, red wrapped in green--beautiful pictures, but they can't capture the smell in the air.

The girl lies on her back and looks straight up at the trees over the sky, yellow over red over green over blue blue blue. There are no colors like these anywhere. Paint cannot capture, cloth cannot imitate this layer of color-texture-smell-taste. The air tastes like bonfire leaves. The air tastes like autumn.

The little sister takes a picture of the girl, sitting under the tree smelling the air and doing homework. The little sister rakes leaves up into a big pile. Together, the sisters jump. They burrow, pounce, and fight each other with fistfuls of leaves. Leaves fill their hair, climb down their shirts.

The air is cool, and it smells of autumn. This is a perfect moment.


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April 2019

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