Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Fall that gives forever
Usually we get about three weeks of fall, but this year we are already on week five, and it is not over yet. My ideal has always been that each of the four seasons would run for three months, but admittedly I am a person who compulsively tries to correct everything in my head, all to some exalted, personal, fantastic standard, which is entertaining up until the point where I get bitter and dissatisfied. So I recognize that three month seasons are just another of my unreasonable demands. But today I walked my route to the library and it was almost 60 degrees out. Leaves were everywhere, the ground golden, flowers still poking about heedlessly, the trees all anthropomorphic, festooned colorfully, daffy yet grave, and we could forget about the length of fall entirely because every second was filled with infinity.
And that's just how it happens, you know. I go out walking up the river and my first thought is:
I could do this forever.
I could just keep walking until the end of time and the pleasure of it would never fade.
Does that sound fanciful, overly optimistic? Nevertheless it is precisely true to my arresting, involuntary thought.
I don't get that same forever feeling when it's my day off from work, or during some leisurely evening stroll. Then it all gets weighed against the magic of my free time. Each step I take on a walk, no matter how indescribably lovely, is a moment I am not making soup, or not reading some lovely book, sprawled on the couch eating peanuts, or not going out drinking with my wife to listen to crazy people sing old broken songs in exchange for seven seconds of applause.
But walking to work? Don't get me wrong. I kind of even like my job at the library, and after a rough few months am feeling a bit better about it, but nevertheless part of its beauty is that it is a curtain of darkness against which things of light, like freedom, and fresh air, and trees, look especially clear and radiant.
Not unlike, for instance, the last burst of fall, lingering for a few small eternities, against the darkness of winter.