Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last week's storm

Standing in the eye of autumn’s bluster is an elemental pleasure. Secure in the knowledge that warm shelter is but a few steps away, I can freely breathe the wildness of a coming storm without worrying over finding a place to hunker down and wait out the weather.

In gust after huge exhaling gust, the wind showers me with a whirl of leaves; oak and maple, filbert and persimmon, gingko, dogwood and dove tree spin past me, get caught in air eddies and propel upward and on their way. No demure spring zephyr, the angrier fall wind can strip the leaves in one afternoon.

The gusts, ushering in a chilling rain, calm as suddenly as they began. The temperature drops noticeably; the leafless trees stand still in the brooding air.

In this brief between-time, the wind spent but the rain not begun, I am struck by the now exposed pattern of skeletal branches, from the thick scaffolds to the tiniest twigs far above. It is a fractal echo of leaf veins. The bare limbs reveal patterns within patterns.

The drizzle begins, settling in, a wet cloak under a darkening sky. Time to go in.