Wednesday, October 21

Wednesday, October 21st... Old and New, The Autumn Always Remains the Same...

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It's early...just starting to break daylight. Sneaking out of bed quietly, so I do not wake the others, I make my way to the chair to get dressed. Again, sneaking to the bedroom door and down the stairs toward the kitchen, I hear the dog stir. I stop...wait...and then proceed down the stairs and into the kitchen. Here I grab a banana and stand by the sink peeling it, as I look out over the slowly dawning landscape of our back yard. I can almost see the image of the tree out there, but the darkness still obscures the smaller limbs in the pre-dawn lightness. I pull on my long sleeve shirt that was hanging on the back of one of the kitchen chairs as I am met by Ms. nosey the mutt. Slipping past her I make my way toward the front door, where I pat Ms. nosey on top of the head and whisper, "Go lay down and be a good girl!" With that, I slip through the partially open door and very quietly slide it shut and allow the door knob to re-latch softly. Across the porch I glide in the soft gray light which allow me to only see where I am placing my feet, but still too gray to allows me to see any distance in front of me. I draw in a huge breath of cool fall morning air and can smell...taste and feel the pine trees in the back yard, the musty smell of earth and all the pungent and sweet smells of autumn, all mixed together. As I look back, I can barely see the house in the early morning mist. I think how I truly love this season, as I reach the end of the yard and step over the fence and into the woods. As soon as I enter the woods beyond the yard and travel within it enveloping shield of branches, leaves and stumps, I stop and listen intently, trying not to breath. In the distance a crow calls...and then a dog answers with a bark and then another crow caw. Obviously, these two are communicating with one another about least it seems as such. Again I cock my head from side to side slowly trying to capture every minute sound emulating from the forest before me. I can identify the shuffle of a squirrel as he gathers acorns and other related nuts or seeds for the coming winter. The chickadee hanging upside down on the tree to my left is acting just like the grasshopper, who from history, continues to party, quite unconcerned as the ant like squirrel continues to work at harvesting food and storing it for winter. I laugh to myself as I daydream about the old fable, for unlike the grasshopper, this little hopping guy will be here all winter long. Even on the coldest day with three feet of snow, he will still be unconcerned and partying at the birdfeeder. Quit filling the feeder and he will simply party elsewhere. He JUST doesn't care. Suddenly a loud crash to the right, in front of me jolts me back to where my body occupies. A few more loud snaps and crunches...and I see nothing more than a blur of brown as it ambles along at approximately twenty-five yards in front of me. Suddenly the blur of brown stops and remains very still. After a short few seconds that seem like hours, the object slowly disappeared, as if vanishing...quietly without a trace...a noise. Obviously, it had turned directly away from me and step and the mist and darkness obscured it from my sight... After a few minutes, I continued sneaking out through the woods toward the open field where I knew I would see deer browsing in the still damp grass. I'll bet that dew soaked grass tastes better and slides down their throat much easier than the dry grasses of mid-day. When I reached the edge of the field, it was beginning to lighten more and more. I could now see the other side of the field...the darkness of the woods on the other side towering over the field as skyscrapers in the morning light. I sat down on a stump with a fallen tree in front of it. I just sat there for a good half hour, listening to the early morning forest noises and by now it was plenty light, because I could see a doe and fawn browsing in the field as three crows flew over head tattling to the world that the deer were there. I laughed to myself and drew in another huge breath of fall air, trying to separate all the ingredients that make up such a special, seasonal fragrance. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a solitary chipmunk came running sporadically down the log and jumped directly onto my left leg, sat there a moment, looking directly at my face, then hopped to the other knee, where it stopped suddenly, as if I had immobilized it with a stun gun. There it sat motionless...just like a little resin statuette of a chipmunk in a hunting supply store or a gift shop. It remained entranced there momentarily, then chattered the most vile, nasty line of cussing, ever to come out of the little mouth of a critter and took off like a rocket, running down the log and out of sight. I could hear him chattering and still barking obsenities toward me in a muffled voice, telling me he was in a crevice or hole near the base of the fallen tree or under some rocks. He finally emerged and ambled on his way again; satisfied I was no threat of any kind. As I watched toward the area in which he ambled off, my eye caught some movement along the edge of the field, just inside the tree line. Another three minutes of silently watching, revealed a half dozen turkeys scratching and feeding toward me in the undergrowth, searching out fall berries, nuts, seeds or bugs. I quietly watched them as they all filed past me, unaware of my presence. I continued to sit there listening, looking and thinking about how very lucky I was to be alive and present here witnessing all the beauty God has bestowed on me. I wondered how many people even realize they are a part of this... the entire scope of it all... not just that they have or a house, a job... a car...all these things you can replace tomorrow, which aren't really all that important. But do they take the time to stop and think about life... nature... family... friends... happiness... peacefulness? I wondered... Just then I heard the call... "Breakfast is made. Come on in here if you're out there somewhere....."
Ah... such sweet memories... back in 1963 when I was only twelve years old...waiting for hunting season (my first) in another month or so. How I would love to go back and hear my departed Mom calling me to breakfast again like that. Hum.....You know....I guess I just did. Thank you God, for good memory's..... Comin' Mom!

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