Saturday, August 19, 2006

Snow globes without the snow

It's one of those snow globe days when the sky is a grayish white and seems liked a wall surrounding everything. The slow slip and patter of rain on the leaves and the cars have that slick, shiny look as though encased in new plastic. The air is chill even with the ceiling fan off and damp. Through the wet gloss of the leaves the alligator skin of the tree trunks darkens with rain sucked down through channels like fine capillaries, changing the way the trees look. One minute they look like headless women stretching their arms to the sky, then serpents slithering down the trunk, and the next someone standing on his head with his legs touching the lowering sky.

The street is awake. Cars start and drive away, park and the doors open and close. The farmer's market is open for business rain or shine and the people find their way here to touch the colors, vibrant even in this white globed world, and breathe the lingering scents of sunshine and earth. They take their purchases home, taking summer with them.

It is on a day like today fall seems so close and winter not far behind. The blazing, breathless dog days are sweet memories of warmth and golden light in the face of impending cold and quiet. Soon I will be able to see the whole face of my mountains when the trees lose their lush green canopies and only the bare branches remain. The days will be less golden and the Colorado blue will be cooler and farther away, stepping back from the slumbering earth. Dawn will break later with a fiery display of reds above the shivering coins of golden aspens before they drift to the ground and carpet the earth. The air will be redolent with the scent of spicy smoke, the breezes tinged with ice and snow. Soon day and night will stand in equal partnership before day gives way so night may rule in its stead. Sun, the color of lemonade, will beam like a benevolent and indulgent grampus ready for quiet after vibrant and boisterous grandchildren have gone home. As the sun winds down, so does the year as the pendulum swings slower and slower, never stopping, but waiting patiently for the sun to come close enough to warm the earth and set it swinging strongly once again, cold, white winter days giving way to the warm scented breezes of spring and, inevitably, the brazen heat and breathlessness of summer once again.

I long for fall colors and winter cold as I longed for the fresh growing scent of spring and the warmth of summer, as predictable in my desires as the seasons in their turn, savoring the scent, sight and sound of each season, preserving the harvest of memories here in pictures and in words.

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