Might Just Be

Good advice.

Wind and rain strip all but the most stubborn of the remaining leaves. The forest smells so good now, there’s a weight to the smell of it, a tangible thickness, almost a flavor. I cut firewood nearly every day, so close to my longtime goal of getting a full year ahead that I’m already pleased with myself. I like to drive east, up the mountain and then back down it, following the wet track of packed soil and gravel as it curves through the woods. The leafless maples skinny as shorn sheep. Still no frost, though one is surely coming soon, and snow not far behind. The apples have dropped, and the pond is cold enough for second thoughts. The cows are on the very last bit of pasture grass, only a day or two remains. Then six months of hay. No: Seven. Dark comes early and leaves late and for the first time I find that it helps to wear glasses for reading. It’s not so bad, really. It makes the words look close up. It feels like I’m winding down. I tell myself it’s just the season, and I’m pretty sure it’s true, though it’s also true I’m barely a month from 50. In the morning it will be warm again and I’ll awake to rain so soft that it might just be mist hanging in the air.

16 thoughts on “Might Just Be”

  1. The shorter days have been so good. An invitation to rest. 50!! That’ll be a great milestone. šŸ‘šŸ»
    Pretty collection of words, as always.

  2. Ben – This is a most beautiful paragraph!
    We are in the thick of autumn now although the warmth of this October seems to tell me otherwise but I know the truth. I sat with my friend of 50 plus years early this afternoon and we marveled at the clear blue sky and the temperature being in the low 70’s. Almost surreal. It is meant to be savored and perhaps thought of a couple of weeks from now when it’s unlikely that the temps will be where they have been for much of this month.
    Thanks for the “good advice” contained in the photo!

  3. I miss the smell of fallen leaves in damp morning air that you’re stories bring back to me. We’re harvesting corn and the combine leaves a tangible smell in its wake, chopped stalks and cobs flying out the back and releasing a distinctive scent.

  4. I was outside today thinking something similar….the smell and feel of this autumn air, it nearly makes me drunk!!!! The richness of it all, I can’t believe people like summer so much? I’ll be 48 in 2 months, and I’ve had to wear ‘the glasses’ for at least a year. Glad I’m not alone…

  5. Your description of the New England fall makes me feel like Iā€™m right there in the midst of its beauty and smells! Thanks for taking the time to describe it for us. (And that year-ahead woodpile must be amazing. And comforting.)

      1. I hardly ever see an acorn without a worm hole in it.

        I used to live in a grove of burr oak trees, lots of acrons to feed the squirrels and lots of burrs, caps, and wormy acorns for me to rake up and dump on the compost pile.

        You’re lucky that you don’t have the curse of mulberry trees in Stannard. Damned things will grow anywhere a seed lands, regular weeds they are, and worse yet they throw a deep tap root making them hard to eliminate.

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