Heaven. Driving to church, I wondered that Heaven can be more beautiful than this. Colors: deep purple, deep red, light green mixed with light yellow, yellow-brown, deep brown, red, rust, gold, deep evergreen, bright blue sky. Some trees are bare, giving white and brown branches. In sudden gusts, blowing and scattering dry leaves brush tires, cover windshield.
Portals to the Past.
I park near a birch tree and stop to look: white and curling bark, yellow leaves, oval, outlined in brown, standing sturdy and alone. In high school biology, I encountered trees I didn’t know, looking, observing, thinking, consulting a book to learn the names of each one. Quiet and reverential encounters. At home, I find that this one’s name is Betula, Betula papyrifera, paper birch.
Walking home with their mothers, four young boys, in kindergarten or first grade, stop to jump into piled up leaves. They jump feet-first and wallow and laugh. One jumps belly first into a mount. Leaves fly, and mothers and boys are laughing. One boy says to his mother, “Make a picture!”
Reading. Fiction. John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday. Read it. Smile, chuckle, laugh. Share it. Give copies to friends who are doing well. Give a copy to friends who are undergoing hard times or recovering from illness. Keep a copy for future reading. Read it again.
A Walk. A couple are writing down the number of a tire “so we can make calls to get the best price.” On the porch across the street, a smiling mother is cutting her young son’s hair with scissors. He smiles and sits very still. A grandfather smiles and waves. He is driving a Gator tractor, pulling four young girls who sit and talk quietly. Mae Edla, the long-retired French teacher, walks pensively across her yard, carrying a rake back to the storage shed. A woman sits on her bottom step, writing something, I imagine, in cursive script. Her next door neighbor rocks on her porch, smiles, and waves as I pass. At the park six young men are kicking around a soccer ball. A runner approaches on a side street. She is dressed in summer running gear, holds her head high, a study in controlled speed. At a house for sale by owner, children’s toys have been left behind in the yard. The porch is crowded with junked things. A cat slinks from the porch to the yard. Downtown stores are decorated for Christmas. Most have Christmas trees. Dusk comes early as I reach home. It was a quiet, walk, midweek, at a quiet time of year.
Quotations from Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday.
“. . . they ain’t no way in the world to get in trouble by keeping your mouth shut. You look back at every mess you ever go in and you’ll find your tongue started it.”
“The sunshine had a goldy look and red geraniums burned the air around them. The delphiniums were like little openings in the sky.”
Thank you for reading. I hope you are enjoying these mid-autumn days.