Seems like we are taking walks outdoors a lot now that autumn has arrived. How utterly lovely! I see fall floating through others’ blogs; in afternoon conversations with friends on the porch with a pinot gris with prosciutto pear cup appetizers, or Maple Nut Crunch coffee and biscuit mid-morning. Such a relief after being in the house for months on end due to the heat.
Jackie spoke of her dog walks in last week’s blog post of the crunch or crackle of leaves. She asks how one can describe a sound, or drum up a new word or a way with words to form a fresh description, an emotion, a jiggle of a feeling. She continued her walk with observations, private thinking, and wondering. In her walk, what she did was take the reader along. She did her job by simply stating her notions of observation. She ended by realizing she may not have the words she wanted, but “it was just plain fun.” Indeed, I felt refreshed as if I had felt the same ray of sun and crunched as many leaves as she under my tennis shoes.
When my niece became pregnant for the first time, she wrote letters and notes to her unborn. In long emails to me she shared her new feelings, hard to define, but on she went, beautiful, touching thoughts. I saved all, printed out, poems and notes she sent. When “Livvy” was born, my niece continued with her discoveries. She wrote and wrote and noted from anywhere she was physically or emotionally at the time. She found words through the five senses she had not experienced before.
With Tarah’s permission, below is a poem from one of her walks in November of 2004 when baby was a few months old. She writes from an unfamiliar place she had not undergone until the little one, her presence, perhaps, helped make note of it.
The sky is painted darkest grey, heavy with ominous clouds.
Bare branches whisper of bitter-cold wind and autumn sunshine long faded into the cold iron winter.
A few birds linger, one fluffing his feathers haughtily, puzzled by the absence of foliage, he once called home, knowing warm air and golden rays lurk just over the southern skyline.
The quiet is overwhelming. Waiting for the first flake to dance to earth in slow, swirling splendor, I watch.
I bundle baby in a warm fleece hat and wool sweater, confining tiny, wrinkled hands in soft mittens, stuffing plump feet into pink boots, zipping, buttoning, strapping.
We plunge into the dark November afternoon. Cold air takes our breath away, unleashing deep, joyful laughter, like miniature bells of glee molded from the silver of angel’s wings.
She laughs to see the bird, puffed up so proud. He looks at her too, disdainfully.
She laughs again. This time, her eyes dance. Silly bird. Silly, silly bird.
She turns her bright blue eyes to me in wonder, meeting my desperate gaze, recovering my being, rejoicing in my love.
I am warm all over.
~ Tarah T, Nov, 2004
The brilliance of fall softens the edges to prepare for the harsher, colder, and shorter days of sunlight in the months ahead. In Tucson, again, we only get brushstrokes of winter. Having lived twenty-three years in the Midwest left a lifelong imprint of each season and its changes. I feel as close to these seasons as if I never left. I will take walks with my surrounding autumn, enjoy the companionship with others in their walks via their writing, and bend my ear to the crunch and the sites of the last few birds that bravely linger. It is a quick season to step outside to breath deeply and walk with those we love.