September 30, 2015

A Quiet Autumn Night



It is so quiet, I hear the second-hand on the kitchen clock ticking. There goes an airplane overhead, somewhere up there in the sky, a hundred people belted in, dozing, reading, shifting, catapulting through the night. It is 54'. It is autumn.

This is always the season for me: the one where I seek out the still places in the day, listen for the silence. What I really want is to pull out my old sleeping bag, lay it down upon a hill, and climb in, stare up, watch how minutely and inevitably everything changes. I don't want to miss it. I know that I will. Suddenly all the leaves are on the ground.

Tonight, just before dinner, I slipped on a fleece and some gloves and dug little holes around the garden. Yesterday a friend's mother snapped off the tops of a flowering sedum, gave them to me, and said, "Plant them, like this, upside down." So I did, tucking those starbursts of purple into bed the way I do my child: tenderly, patting tight the blanket, hopeful for warm rest that buds into a fuller, rounder life.

It is autumn. It is 52'. Another airplane. The clock ticking. The furnace a dull lull of breath. It is so quiet, I can hear myself thinking. And isn't that the beauty of less? Turn off the lamp. Go to the window, now black with early night. The moon, full and cool, will illuminate the outlines.