Simon thinks he is helping me write today by curling up in my lap. I tell Simon, as I relate to you, I saw three herons in the first mile of walking this morning. The view from the bridge revealed a wading bird, mostly silhouette, that was like an eighth note stretched to the limit – a pennant note.
The second, a youngster, flapped out of the protective channel of the mill-race, which has grey limestone lining, and stood exposed along the grass strip between that and the creek. We eyed each other (or so I flatter myself) and I was full of admiration for the way its neck curves: grace upon grace. The third heron, completing the study of grey upon gray, went about waiting for fish near the picnic bend across the water, in another timezone.
Sugar maple leaves on the path are turned up, red, and upside down, a dull red, faded red. There is no evidence that a wedding took place at the old cemetery yesterday, yet yesterday I saw evidence one was about to take place, beginning with a girl of perhaps ten carrying a bright orange sign on a stake and a woman toting a brown box and some pumpkins. The sign read “Wedding.” Two pumpkins of nearly identical shape and close to each other in size were left sitting unattended in the meadow while the woman prepared the stage for Halloween nuptials – an interesting idea Something Old, Something New, Something Scary, Something Blue, with Fright Night as the threshold of a honeymoon and the start of matrimonial life. “I love Hallowe’en,” a cry familiar to merchandisers as signal to sell by. “I love you.”
I find a small rectangular piece of light green paper. It has distressed marks from asphalt and stone bit impressions. That is Pick of the Litter.
Here at home, counting crows is inevitable – Monday is trash day and the neighbor has slung the limp body of a homemade scarecrow backwards over the trash bags that await pickup. The head is straw held together by pantyhose, cinched at the neck. A flannel shirt and blue jeans complete the morose outfit, a tragic sight. Four huge crows stand on the grass within a yard of it, unafraid, regarding its careless, useless posture. If it had eyes it would be staring up at the sky, but it is neither sighted nor sentient, joined at this heap by orange plastic grinning-pumpkin-face leaf bags.
Mojo and Simon are both on my lap, purring away. The sun grows stronger and this is the only day we have to live. Welcome November.