On Saturday, the day was cleft in two. Diurnal parity. The end of summer, time to batten, to shift the wardrobe, to closet those frivolous ways. Soon, it will be difficult to grow food (Supermarkets). Soon, it will be difficult to travel (4×4). It will be cold (central heat), it will be dark (electricity sourced from who knows where), it will be winter (christmas). But for now, we can open our windows again to the breeze and crisp fall air. Take in the colors of trees transitioning into deciduous dormancy. Drink warm apple cider with maybe some spiced rum in it and carve our nightmares into obsolete orange gourds and tuck obnoxious leaf litter into cute trashbags that mimic our gourds and wear cashmere turtlenecks that pile and hang around our shorn pale goosepimpled necks.
I am jealous of Cedar; he knows how to extract the joy from every season.
Even as we begin our tilt away from the sun, the heart of the dog reels with joy in the curiosity of a natural, open space. I must admit, I do as well, but always with a bit of awareness that I do so because I do not belong here.
Luckily, I am allowed. Nockamixon is one of the few places nearby me where I feel comfortable letting Cedar run. In the fall, it is open for hunting, and is stocked with pheasant. It is a large park, and many days I fail to see another person.
This season especially excites my misanthropism.
But mostly, it excites my connection to the world around me. I cannot feel connected by the internet, or by phone service, or by finding a neat little cafe. I am in awe of the eternity lived outside myself, of the facets of creation both beautiful and necessary. The scope of a world which registers my existence as a trespasser, a predator, a transient trampler, and abhors it. But which also must accept it.
And knowing that I don’t belong, I do my best to adjust. I gather litter, I stay on paths. I collect only what I will use. I am happy at a slow pace, with what I hope is little impact. But I can’t speak for Cedar.