Even the tiniest trees turn color.

A few weeks ago I wrote that autumn feels like the Earth’s kind way of talking me into winter. That’s early fall. Late fall feels like a slow wresting of control as the landscape I love, the one alive with warmth and intimacy with the sun, yields inexorably to the barren winter. Every day contains a grain of sadness for me, of letting go. Events in my life that mirror that seem more pungent — the passing of my son’s childhood, or discord with someone close to me. The first snow will be soon, I know.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the room I call my Cave, where I do all manner of sewing and other creative work. It’s unusual for me not to want to be outside at this time of year, but with the exception of stalking my new friend the White Squirrel, I haven’t spent the usual amount of time outdoors. I haven’t paddled an autumn river like last year, or taken to the Appalachian Trail like I did two years ago. But I’ve learned to go with what makes my brain feel good, and lately it’s been turning out Halloween potholders.

And following my new friend around. I feel lucky to have him living here, subsisting on my walnut and persimmon trees. This afternoon I caught a shadow in the window, and it brought to mind my summer friends, the hummingbirds. The White Squirrel’s omnipresence reminds me of my tiny companions, and I wonder what they’re doing now, and where they are.

I’m glad the squirrel is a year-rounder. Here is the latest portrait. I suspect he wonders why I follow him around all the time, and ignore the other squirrels.

Can I eat in peace, please?




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