Within minutes, I heard the strangest noise, a muffled, muti-layered sound: dozens of geese flying high, high above us in a perfect V (look closely at the bottom secton of the photo, just to the right of center, and you can make it out, with a few stragglers up in the left-hand corner). We watched for long minutes as several groups flew over. It was the perfect start to our walk.
You've been on this one with us before, last winter. We wanted to do it again, this time in the fall, to see how things were different, to smell the difference between February and October. We took the secret stairs (not these, but right next to these, actually) that connect NW Thurman Street to NW Aspen Avenue and cut the walk in half this time. But it was no less lovely than it was the first time. Perhaps even better, because it feels like ours, now.
Oh, most beautiful day and season.
All is fragile and fading: The leaves bleached of color and ready to flutter off in a strong wind, the garage door open and ready, waiting for wood to be stacked.
The long grass whispers and waves, more gray than yellow.
Before we get to Holman Meadow, and the edge of the forest, one last backyard garden and tiny orchard to covet.
Then the shining forest opens to us.
The path is padded with fallen leaves.
The webs studded with spiders.
The greens dark and subtle.
The trees craggy and fuzzed.
Their limbs like old bones.
Their leaves as big as fans.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. So very deep.
Everywhere you look, another universe you'll never know.
Another city of trees more beautiful than the last.
Eventually, we reach the witch's house.
Slick with leaves and cold with damp.
At the bottom of the stairs, it seems like maybe I shouldn't go in, somehow. But I do.
The path hairpins, and the creek is to our right now.
Heavy and delicate together.
I love you both so much.
I love walking with you.
I love going to Besaw's (just outside Forest Park) afterward. A tradition now.
I love being there just as the wait staff is getting to have their own lunch.
Golden light through old windows; you reading the paper; grilled onions, rosemary, potatoes, and cappuccino; that tired, happy feeling in my legs; the feeling of still shuffling through leaves. Saturday afternoon.