Monday, October 21, 2013

Well it’s fall…

More importantly, it’s fall here in town.  I’m trying to remember the last time I spent fall in a city or town, and I’m coming up with somewhere around nineteen eighty.  Autumn is different in town that it was on the mountain, and different again from autumn on the island.

On the island seasons were subtle, especially the turns from summer into fall.  A few leaves drop, but the trees that are still standing don’t really turn colors like in the rest of New England.  The temperature change is more subtle there, as the water slows down the cold drops like a blanket over the rest of the East Coast.

What is missing from this picture? People.

Notice the absence of boats in the harbor

Down here in Virginia the mountains flame as brightly as any in New England.

 But when the leaves drop upon House Mountain they stay where they fall until the wind blows them somewhere else.  Here in town I see piles of leaves in yards, bagged on sidewalks, huge piles blown into gutters for the city to come by and pick up.

The whine of leaf blowers is gradually replacing the clatter and whir of lawnmowers and weedwackers, and I am still not used either sound.  Autumn on House Mountain was the ping of acorns dropping on a tin roof, the rustle of deer sheltering from hunters among the oaks, the sound of wind whistling through bare branches.

I miss the silence.  I miss being able to notice a full moon without having to look up.  I miss the stars.  I really miss being able to just let the dogs out to poop in the woods, without having to worry about picking up after them.
On the other hand, I can walk to the library, my drugstore, the movies, a coffee shop.  We ordered a gluten-free pizza from Domino’s and had it delivered.  If I forget something at the store it’s only three minutes away.  This tiny plot of land is a constant source of wonder.  I don’t know what’s planted here and new surprises keep popping up.

And although I don’t see this on my walk every morning –

I’m never going to see anything like this on House Mountain –

Oh my God.  For the first time in my adult life I’m going to have to buy Halloween candy.