October Thoughts – 1974

October 13, 1974 (How a grumpy morning can end in gold.)
Nushka and I are in the fragrant gold and green sanctuary of McIver. No hunters with guns to worry about. Read until 2 o’clock by the fire when I’d finally had enough and tottered off to bed with that curiously unreal sensation one has when overtired. Dreamed but with a thread of worry running here and there…about the boys and their dad [on their big fishing trip}. Afraid to take the phone off the hook because they might call – and suffered two early wakenings because of that. Surrendered at 10:30 and heaved myself ungraciously downstairs for coffee, additionally soured because Tom Cat had messed in the bath tub and I had to clean that up before performing my own morning ablutions. Also cross because Paige, exiting for work, had exchanged one nuisance for another. She let Tom Cat out and Pickwick in, so he had growled and purred and trampled my sleep wracked frame until that, combined with the phone calls, persuaded me to abandon ship. With coffee and the bloated Sunday paper, I felt somewhat restored though my eyes were like puncture wounds from last night’s TV and the reading of practically 3 books! Nush barked whenever car wheels crunched by, and I muttered maledictions and curses to turn away unwary guests. “No people!” I repeated darkly, aloud. “No people today, darn it!”
But once showered and groomed, I appeared surprisingly civilized. Presentable. Not a misanthrope at all. The gray sky had thinned and the blue linings were shining through. Ought to do something. Not read. Eyes too far gone and those must be preserved. Being blind would be horrible – or having to wear spectacles. [I snicker as I copy this.} Must put letters in the mailbox; all written except for finishing the one to Dad.
Nush leaped all over me at this activity. Full of health – no bugs left worth a hoot in his system. Guilt, guilt. “Slob,” I scolded myself. “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you take your poor dog for a walk? Getting too old? You didn’t treat Chip that way!”
I was beaten. Packed my canvas creel with necessities, such as this book, doggy treats, and a large green apple. Caught one inning of the 2nd World Series game. Dodgers ahead 1 to 0. then cleaned up Nushka’s garbage dump on the far side of the house. Ick! I should treat him good? But off we went for the walk – Nush so sunny and joyful, rushing, leaping, jumping back to worship and welcome me – I am reformed and restored. The forest is my temple, and Nush, like Chip before him, my devoted attendant and fellow pilgrim.
We’ve taken a side path, one newly revealed in the wilting sere undergrowth. A beautiful cluster of young, smooth skinned maples rise in the sparsely wooded clearing. Brown leaves are down, green ones up. The colors are not so brilliant this year as it has been too dry. The dogwoods, many of them, are crackling and parched –gypsies turned from laughing color into faded mummies. Birds disport themselvesas though I were a ghost. They ignore me and Nush too. We’re resting – white flags up. A peace party.
We’ve tramped through a maze of cow paths and/or deer trails and have enjoyed a whole new scene. Points up how routine can get you on neat little tracks that by-pass whole areas of your life. Areas you never explore or realize. Of course, some may be pretty thorny or otherwise unpleasant, like the deceptively attractive red-leafed vine climbing a tall fir I just passed. The vine is a socially motivated bit of poison oak.
Have now come upon a silver log, airily arched and upholstered with green and gold moss; all to provide me with a sweet chaise lounge. Lucky me. Alive and healthy in the sun drenched October forest with Nush at my side and a fat green apple still uneaten.
Still Later
Almost to the fence where I slither under via a favorite chuck hole. Sun slants further southwest and the leaves that tremble loose from the trees sound like furtive footsteps. The bushes are still thick with black berries, some fat, sweet and lustrous; though others have dried into little gnomes. Thursday night’s rain has left scant trace except for a lingering dampness in sheltered areas. My god, I do love the forest! And the open woodlands. They are so beautiful if haphazard to the civilized sense of exterior order. But they are gracious, maternal, benevolent. Nature offers all things without bitterness. She tucks me into her wooded embrace as tenderly as any seedling, any nesting bird, or spotted fawn. She does not ask my antecedents or my loyalties. She takes me to her breast and sings her sweetest songs. She offers her tallest trees for shade, her grass for a bed, her berries for food, her beasts for companionship, and her flowers for adornment. Barriers of thorn, stone, or fallen limbs are only to whet the appetite for adventure and to crown the explorer with the delight of discovery.
Weather is more to be likened to the father. He punishes and he blesses, or is indifferent; and one must accept and conform. The father is reckoned with; the mother lived with.

Published in: on September 24, 2018 at 11:59 am  Comments (1)  

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