Monday, August 12, 2013

Looking Forwards and Backwards

The large Autumn spiders (Philodramus dispar, Wolf, Orb Stretch, and Sheet Web) are already spanning doorways and trails around here.  I've seen the lines of geese flying south.  The pungent hickory nuts in their green shells are also falling.  By these signs I portend an early Fall.  And some days, really, what have we to do but guess of things to come?

I like Autumn.  When the summer moisture levels and temperatures align, the blaze of colors which erupt from the sumac and maples and oaks is unlike anything else.  Besides that, it just smells good.  I suppose it’s the scent of decay, and what does that say about me?  But also, in that odd manner, the scents bring back memories of younger, easier days like certain songs I've not heard in years.  When they play I recall events and faces long absent.

I grew up in the woods, on the outskirts of town with acres of fields and Ozark forests in which to wander and camp.  Caves and bluffs and root chambers along river banks gave me and a duo of friends all we needed in terms of adventure and satisfaction.  This was in an era of pre-parental administration of every moment of a teen's summer and a smuggled fifth of peppermint schnapps might appear right about dusk (that operation a tale unto itself).  Fall camping meant fewer insects and, for a week or two, rivers still warm enough for swimming.  During two or three or four day excursions time itself could be ignored and when was the last time that happened?  Things just were, and it was glorious.
These points in time, brought back now by a sniff of brown acorns and leaves soon to turn, had, themselves, no true point.  This may be what I miss most of all.

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