Thursday, October 18, 2012


My window with the Gothic Arch.
IN BIRDLAND THE SKY IS GREY AND THE DRIZZLE IS CONSTANT, BUT AFTER THIS SUMMER'S DROUGHT I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. It is, after all, October. The grass is finally green again, and the leaves are just beginning to turn. They are muted so far, with only a little yellow. The hackberries outside my window seem to be going straight from a washed out greenish-yellow to a dry brown. Leaves crunch on the sidewalk below and I wonder if the extra stress of the heat and drought drained all the color from the trees. Or will they light up yet in the coming weeks?

The cornfields by my house have been harvested, and it looks like Jim and Sean have already pulled a disc through them so that they're a moist jumble of brown earth and tawny brown stubble. Ursula still runs out into the field to glean the few dropped ears (stunted this year), bringing home one or two a day. My dog will play with these ears for awhile, cheerfully gnawing the golden corn off the cob, and then leaving it for the chickens to peck. Everybody is happy.  

Looking forward to Winter

The days are getting shorter and more and more often, by the time I get home in the evenings, the chickens have already gone to bed and I'm only left to latch the door. Soon I will have to cover the coop and the aviary with plastic. Soon I will have to plug in the lights for warmth. As much as I'm enjoying sweater weather right now, I do look forward to the coming winter with all its glorious ice and cold. For one thing, when I turn on the lights in the chicken coop, I'll finally get eggs again. This flock is all pullets, bought as day old chicks this spring. I've been buying chicken feed since April without collecting one single egg. I can't wait until I get my first one, which usually happens for the first time soon after I put on the lights in the winter.

Reflecting on Peace
 For another thing, Michael's been cutting a lot of trees. Most notably some poplars we planted many years ago, which have lived out their lifecycles. They are fast growing trees, which is why we planted them to shade the south windows in summer, but quick growth means they don't last long—maybe 20 years. They've been dying one by one, and now we have a big pile of firewood. I don't think Poplar is the very best firewood, but it's still nice to have a big pile, and I'm looking forward to warming the house with fires in a few months.
Find a Cozy Hidey Hole

Today I'm cozy in my little office and something about the overcast day makes me snuggle down deeper into my sweater and wrap my hands around my warm cup of tea. I've got errands to do across campus, but they can wait. Today is a day to sit and write, read a chapter or two, grade some papers and talk with students. Today is a day to pause and take a long glance out the old window with the Gothic arch, to see the small, brown berries on the tree outside. Suspended on each berry is a silver pearl of rain, shining with refracted light. Below, umbrellas sail back and forth on the sidewalk. Everyone has somewhere to go. But me? I'm content to sit here and turn another page, take another sip, and enjoy the warm coziness of a fall day.

Sit in Beauty; Soak up Peace;
Blessed Be.

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