Monday, October 24, 2011
Today, on this last morning before winter comes, I was prodded out of the house by my dog. We left behind a chicken boiling for soup on the stove, which made me feel cozy and Midwestern, like some happy housewife I never hoped to be. There is something so snug about tonight's dinner already on the stove this morning; we'll admit that even I am not immune to the allure of snugness and leave it at that.
The dog and I walked up the hill and out of the neighborhood. The air was sweet and smoky. I long for woods, but what I have are the plains and as we crested the hill they sprawled out before us, patchwork autumn until it meets October sky. We stopped and looked at the faraway trees gilded in morning sun. In the distance, someone churned farm equipment up and down the hill, kicking up a tornado of dust. The dog was patient. She waited at my side until she saw a squirrel. Then she remembered her wildness and sprinted down the path, frolicking atop the falling leaves. We stopped under a crimson tree. Behind it the clouds were burning off. The sky was turning blue. We stood there for awhile.
Gun shy, saddle shy, any kind of shy you name, I am. I said my little thank yous to the trees before mentally reciting my armor against winter's frosty invasion: Omega threes. Walks under the weakening sun. Lots of greens and blues and reds. Read my little book. Write. That's it. A paltry list against the threatening dark six months.
We had a good weekend, what more can you ask. I took Jack Sparrow and Cinderella to McDonald's, a recipe for disaster that in the end turned out just fine. Late Saturday afternoon I browsed a used bookstore and found a sweet little book of sonnets by Garrison Keillor. I love them entirely, wistful snapshots of lost humming moments. I took them home and read them in bed, illness and anticipation aching in my bones. I sang the girls to sleep by the glow of pumpkin lights. In the kitchen, in the dark, I told my husband how I hate the snow.
Doesn't it snow in Taos, he asks.
Yes, I reply. Then, I show myself bare in a nutshell:
But it's Taos.