There are days and times – such as tonight, and now – when the whole of nature seemingly conspires to lead me astray from my long-held beliefs. While I will not say this in a private setting, or even dare to whisper it out-of-doors for fear that I will be banished from my dear Amherst*, my heart is secretly buoyant in regards to the autumnal indicators that have been inching into the periphery of August.
I am aware of how odd I must sound; I live for summer. Gardening is my passion. Adorn me in a wide-brimmed hat, my sunglasses to protect my overly sensitive eyes, put a garden tool in my hand (it hardly matters which), and push me in the general direction of some sort of growing green leafy plant (also, it hardly matters which), and I am content to work hand-in-hand with Mother Nature for a truly joyous afternoon. Autumn, however, is like Charon the ferryman on the River Styx, come to take my happiness away to the world of wintery death. Normally, I would not allow it!
…that is until tonight. I went for a walk at dusk and was witness to the swirling perfection of Nature’s alchemistic charms which melted my cold heart and surrendered me over to Her side. I found myself at the hill on campus of the College, looking west to Hadley when I saw view pictured in the above daguerreotype – I wish the bright pricking light of Venus were visible in this image. It was quite striking sitting in the dipping pocket of sky among the branches. The air was refreshingly cool, like an early morning dip into Puffer’s Pond when the fog hugs the lilly pads for a lingeringly last hour before the sun burns off the wisps and ruins the moment. The aroma was tainted with the sweetly edged smoky smell of a nearby fireplace, which seemed oddly-timed, due to the late hour (who cooks dinner so late?), and more suited for a crisper night of relaxed warmth. The steady western breeze kissed my face with the cold breath of future months, and caused the ribbons on my bonnet to lick out in a manner I found to be delightfully suggestive (*kindly refer again to the asterisk below).
I stayed until the last vestiges of sunlight had been bled and drained from the heavens into the Berkshire Mountains and were replaced by the spotty dots of the stars above and the rising smudge of the Milky Way. I was heading past the Common with the full intention of capping the night by enrapturing myself with a good book when I heard a rowdy band of college men off to the taverns.
I paused and considered the calendar – Friday night. Most likely Officer Lawless could use my assistance this evening. After a moment of confliction, I decided to have it all – I went home and read for two hours before going to my shed to change into my battle dress. I then perched myself on top of Phoenix Block, with my book, and waited for trouble to brew – which turned out to be akin to a watched pot.
Oh well. At least I had something to read.
*I can freely express what I wish here on my dusty cobweb on the Internets as we are the only household in town with a connection to the Internets and I doubt that any spiders on this “web” will give a shrug or a hoot about what a modern-minded young woman has to say.