I was afraid there wouldn't be color, this year. The stars came back out a few weeks ago. Peter coaxed me out of bed to watch a full moon eclipse in the middle of a star-and-aurora flecked darkness. The dark took my breath away before I even saw the black disc of earth's shadow blocking the moon. It was harvest-moon red, wet and thick and slowly disappearing into the glorious northern night sky. I still sigh with relief going to sleep without sunlight, evenings.

Mornings are cold. The porch crusted in ice and my breath a fog on the path to the outhouse. I've been shivering my way downstairs, blundering through coffee, lunch packing, pulling on still-uncomfortable dress clothes for my new and unexpected iteration as a student teacher. After which, if all goes to plan, I will take on long term substitute. Given the last three weeks, this is not the relief one might think. The certification, I can manage. The career still fills me with a turmoil of ambivalence. But that is not news.

The trees started turning brown two weeks ago, and I was worried that a summer of warm-and-dry weather had sapped them of their ability to explode into winter with the pomp that marks the season. Then Friday, driving home into a weekend that suddenly carries new meaning and relief, there were the colors. Or a color. The birch have turned and they have blanketed the valley. The aspen, as far as I can tell, have given up the ghost. They are losing their leaves without comment or hue. All summer, I fell in love with the aspen. Their blue-green dance, their shimmering leaves, their powder bark dusting my hands with ancient medicine at a touch. And now I feel like them, dropping from a summer of glorious north-country travel, of wolves and mountains and trucker-banter on the CB into stiff, blistering shoes and pants that require ironing and the hounding of lesson plans to be written.


beholdhowfree said...


At A Hen's Pace said...

Nice to hear from you again.

I'm praying that this career path rambles along through surprisingly pleasant places...


p. said...

Now I wish I had gone outside to see the eclipse. I woke up for it, but didn't bother to get out of bed. Although I doubt I would have had the same experience: smog vs. aurora. Smog loses every time.

maria said...

Jeanne - I do, too. Thanks for still stopping by!

p. It was cool. But there will be others. I can't count the number of eclipse/meteor shower events I have woken up and not gotten up for.