Posted by: Peadar Ban | October 15, 2016

Today, October 15, 2016

The birds have been hungry for several days flitting back and forth to the several feeders we have outside, searching for a meal, and finding none, glancing, sometimes we imagine rather annoyed in the direction of our windows. Chickadees and Titmice, especially, are quick to show their disapproval with a few angry tweets and chitters.

Mariellen worries about our reputation among them and their condition.  The weather is turning.  I sat this morning, after arising late from a rare night of good sleep watching showers of leaves fall on the sun spread grass just outside. This new home of ours keeps the seasons punctually.  By that I mean we are in a position under the sun to be able better than anywhere else I can remember living to keep watch on its progress up and down the horizon in the morning, and the shift, the stretch of shadows over us as twilight comes.  By five PM now, the back yard is almost completely in shadow.  The cocktail bell has rung, and the fire, on many evenings is lit, burning warmly in its place, and welcome.

I must remind myself to go across the street into the wooded area between the road and the railroad tracks and cut some kindling from the fallen saplings.  We took down a dying ash this summer and have a fair amount of firewood aging over there, probably home now to a chipmunk or two, soon to be fuel for cozy evenings over here.  Sorry chipmunks.  It’s mine.  You eat enough of our flowers to keep yourselves warm all year round..

I like this new place down by the riverside.  We’ve been here about a year and it gets better by the day.  It’s quiet, of course, except for the odd dog’s bark during their walks, and during the warm months the boats and jet skis zipping by.  But those noises are pleasant ones.  The early morning jets soughing into Manchester not twenty miles away upstream are a reminder that the day has begun.  Their return at around ten in the evening signal a close to the day.  I like, too, sitting outside in the afternoon toward dusk watching contrails slipping north and south, jets skating across the sky going to and coming back from Europe, and imagining what adventures are waiting, what welcomes on the other side of the doors in arrivals rooms of a hundred airports each day here and there for ten thousand tourists, family members, business men.  Every once in a while, rays of sun bounce off one of them, flying everest high, and they flash like jewels in the twilight, soundless slipping away.

Especially, now, though, mornings are a mystery time as the river’s fog steals across the lawn, leaving slowly, languidly, with the rising sun.  From times like this must have come the images of sprites and fairies, river gods and goddesses and mystery.

We have trains, too.  No passenger services go by the house on the tracks not fifty yards from the front door, but three or four times a week we get great rumbles of trains going slowly by, huge things that you feel in your feet and chest as much as you hear going by.  Powerful diesels, scores of coal carriers, or flat bed cars piled with great logs, or simply freight cars locked and loaded with goods for the north or from the north going by in minster like pomp and parade.  I feel like a kid when they come and never fail to go to the window to peek at their rumbling steady passing.

There were two yesterday, and that is a treat; two rumbles like nothing so much as a herd of metal elephants passing.

It’s mid afternoon as I write this, now, an it’s been quiet for a while.  No leaves fall as they did in the morning.  The sun’s practically gone behind the trees, and not a breeze stirs a thing.  I’ll have a cup of tea, and pick up a book, sit by the window and watch the river slide by while the shadows lengthen.  I’ll start a fire after getting some of the kindling I “harvested” from the woods, and we’ll sit watching our favorite show on the Fireplace Channel.

Wish you were here.





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