At 5-something this morning, through the haze of my post-dream stupor, I heard the TV weatherdude introduce his forecast for the day: If you hated yesterday, you'll hate today.
Well good morning to you and thanks for the cheer, I thought as I rolled over and wrapped myself in the cozy blanket of just a few minutes more.
It's not that bad. Actually it's not bad at all, and I think our weatherdude's just a tad grumpy about October meaning it's off with the Birkenstocks and back on with the socks. However belatedly it arrived, our summer lasted a long and easy while, though I will admit it's hard to wave adieu.
Here in Oregon, autumn takes its time revving up, and while some trees have already turned to sticks, others are lackadaisical about revealing their colors, the oranges and reds creeping into their leaves like trick-or-treaters sneaking up to a shadowy porch.
Now the sky is about clouds. And intermittent rain. And swirl and bluster. The temperature has taken a dip, and if you're anything like I am, refusing on principle to turn the thermostat up before November 1st, the chill can be a bit shocking to the bones.
Yesterday, on my neighborhood walk, I captured a maple leaf and brought it home to slip in a card I'll send to a California friend. It's not an easy labor, choosing just one leaf to represent an entire season. I thought of Joy Sexton, daughter of the poet Anne. Early October, 1974: Joy away at school and selecting her own such leaf, slipping it in an envelope and mailing it to her mother. By the time Joy's offering arrived, Anne was dead, lost to a turn of key and a gas-filled garage.
I've often wondered if Joy regretted sending the leaf, disintegrating symbol of all that would forever be left undone. Or did she manage to hold onto a small sort of glad—for the reaching out, for the having tried?
I'm thinking about my early morning weatherdude, assuming yesterday's script has already written today's. I'm thinking, too, that every dropped leaf presents an opportunity. Just listen to the way each one shuffles when your feet plow through.
But, by golly, I'm not turning that thermostat up for another 10 days!
Nancy Carol Moody
I'm a poet and a letter-writer. Yup, that kind. The kind who uses pens and paper and actual stamps. The kind who will leave the house with nothing on the agenda but to get to the mailbox before the scheduled pick-up time. The kind who understands that technology is a wondrous thing, but nothing quite beats finding a real letter with a real stamp on it amid the credit card solicitations, pizza coupons and seminar catalogs.