Looking Back at September 1974

September 4, 1974
Another cloudy day. Woke in the wee hours and heard the cry of roosters in the gray darkness. That is the loneliest sound of all, except perhaps for a train whistle. The rooster’s announcement heralds a day still dripping with dew and surrounding vapors. Trees and houses are dragged into that narrow sliver between sleep and wakefulness. So I lay, quivering with gooseflesh, eyes determined to remain shut, refusing to deal with the lank hours before the sun’s return. I hate that time of laggard light. Not until the sky flushes pink, shading into gold am I ready to rise.
My “last day of freedom” so naturally I’m choosing to spend at least part of it here in the woods. Nush at my side, field glasses and khaki creel about my neck. The creel holds my journal and pen, comb, nail file, and pocket mirror. I sit on a log at the top of a slope in the trail with sunlight filtering through the leaves of a goodly dogwood tree. Bits of a dogwood’s orange fruit decorate my log, telling of a chipmunk’s feast! Warm today but not the scorcher of yesterday. Cool lingers in the green-gray shadows. Sun splashes golden freckles on my summer-brown skin. Many of the deciduous trees show reddening foliage, bright as Christmas ornaments. The maples have thinned, the fat wet look of youth gone from all but the most protected leaves. Rather like Miami Beach beauties. Me, I like to lean in the shade of tall trees and flirt outrageously with Old Sol.
Hate to think I go to work at Prom tomorrow. My dread is out of proportion, but I am still buffeted by the sense of unreality that lies between knowing what will come and its actual arrival. I guess it’s the dullness I hate as much as anything. But at least I don’t have to do it year round.
Blackberries are ripe and abundant and have eaten a handful or so of them. A flat white fungus stripes the underside of a neighboring log. Water drops speckle the surface. Nush rests in a hollowed bed of forest loam. Guess I’ll ramble on.
A blue heron flies off as we approach. I see only great wing span, the incredibly long neck and long sharp beak. As it finds a more distant tree, I hear it mutter, sotto voce, a harsh, croaking sound. It’s exciting to see the wild life, to feel that one walks with the little brothers and sisters of mankind. Realizing that they were not only meant to be food and clothing for us but to be our companions as well. The birds are conversing with an agitated chipmunk.
Surprisingly, we have run into a Hereford cow. We greet one another amicably and pass on. There are not so many birds now. Many have gone south and only the hardiest remain. Again I hear the heron shrieking in the distance.
In spite of the dominant green of vegetation, the forest crackles with dryness. The dark rains of winter must still lie beneath the cracked hide of September’s drought inviting trees to dig deep for its bounty. Thinking of this, I see it like a model of a science class project that reveals the hidden workings beneath our very feet. We live on two surfaces – earth and sky—and we are amazingly ignorant of both.

Published in: on September 16, 2018 at 9:21 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for your “like.” I so appreciate hearing from readers. Wishing you a happy September, 2018!

  2. Laura, thanks for your “like” on this latest post. It’s really appreciated!

  3. A thank you to Rose. I love your blog too and your wonderful photos and poetry!

  4. Alice, these pieces are absolute treasures. How about combining them into some kind of grand work. There is so much to share.

  5. Recie, speaking of treasures, I treasure your kind comments! I will bear your suggestion in mind as I continue to “mine” these old journals and remember how close I was to nature at that time. Thank you!

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