A Certain Slant of Light

Oakley and I walked in the thick morning air today. I don’t think we’ll be back out except for running sanitary errands. It was still a good walk. We sat by the river for a while. He kept watch, guarding me from squirrels and chipmunks ¬†while I meditated. Shafts of light flowed through the leaves, and light mist rose skyward through them.

The morning light holds a rose-gold color. In the evening, just at dusk, the deep gold light pours across the grass in the field behind the house. The earth and the sun have changed their relative angles to one another as they dance through the wheel of the year.

In spite of the levels of heat and humidity usually left behind in July, the signs and signals indicating autumn’s impending arrival unfold. There’s the light, of course. A handful of leaves experiment with red and yellow edging; a few have even made the leap and lie on their backs on the ground, staring up at the shortening rays of the sun.

Despite the discomfort, I’m having urges to bake, to freeze, to follow the lead of the squirrels and begin to put food away for the winter. No, not at 90. Maybe I’ll play in the kitchen next week when temperatures are slated to return to a reasonable level, but not today. It’s a good day for a lot of iced tea, but for soup and stew and having the oven on, not so much. The air conditioner has enough to contend with without the oven.

This weather, the yuck and the stick and the sweat, this will pass. I find comfort in knowing that it will not last forever. The slant of the light as it gilds the field is welcome to stay as long as it wants.

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River School

The river resembled handblown glass window panes this morning. Oakley and I watched from the observation platform. Its surface was a bit rough, and the reflection of leaves of the trees blended with the silt to color it grey-green. It’s running high and swift from the recent rains. Nothing stops the Fox on its journey from Lake Michigan near Green Bay down to the Illinois River near Ottawa. It flows around, through, and over anything in its channel.

It’s easy to get to. Main trail back to a relatively flat trail of perhaps an eighth of a mile that curves its way through some maples. Once there, Oakley likes to lie down on the platform, relishing the cool deck on his tummy. I simply watch, meditate to the soft rush of time and water.

We’ve watched eagles, hawks, and herons as they soar and circle over the river or take flight in the woods. Occasionally an owl inquires “who-o-o” as they day draws to a close. We’ve been startled by chipmunks and scolded by squirrels. It’s usually just us as we sit there, watching. Not often, but sometimes on a weekend we get startled by humans. We excuse ourselves, secure in our knowledge that we can return at our leisure and can share.

The river is bisected by a small wooded island at that point. A change, an obstacle, then once around it, the river reaches a new place of wholeness.

Like the river and its course, new challenges are placing themselves in my path. I place my faith in knowing that all will be well, and prefer to concentrate on simply flowing around them.