The neighborhood smells good these days, of green, of dust, of dying flowers, of cooler air and lower clouds. I walked into the woods on Rosh Hashanah to smell it even closer, to get that scent along with calls of birds, a few falling leaves, and filtered sunlight through the trees.
We haven't seemed to gin up the energy to do what it takes to get the grandkids out camping. I'm daunted by what it would take, and it feels like a big push, looming larger than when we camped with our own kids. I have to admit, I'm slowing down. But Oregon is a camping paradise with so many possibilities near rivers and lakes, in forests and mountains, and by the ocean.
I never tire of crossing over the Columbia River into Washington. It has everything: a bridge, a river, another state, and another point of view. I hear constant birdsong during my four hour hike at Steigerwald Refuge. My troubles dissapate, and float away with the river.
It's an in-between time around here. Red, yellow, and orange leaves cover the ground and linger in the tree branches, hanging on til the next big winds. Rain alternates between torrents and sprinkles. I've just been in a "should I stay or should I go" sort of mood.
Rivers call out for a song, their various facets and qualities changing and amorphous - the meandering or rollicking currents, the broad then narrow passages, rolling reflections and scenery, the power that lies beneath the seemingly endless flow. Roll along with me...
Some birthdays are passed in celebration, some with dread, and some like this last one, with just a nod and a shrug, acknowledging the passage of time. And another hike around Ridgefield Nature Preserve.
Marilyn was a family gal through and through, and she worked at being a good mother-in-law.
Usually my feelings about Fall here in the Pacific Northwest are more mixed; excited about cooler mornings, rain in the garden, digging out warm clothes while mourning the end of languid days, sleeveless shirts, warm skin, and thriving gardens. Instead, I was fighting inevitable change, a losing battle.
My mind lingers on death more often these days. I tell Alan that if I become too demented and disabled he should smother me with a pillow, but he hasn't agreed. How about a commemorative plaque on a bench instead?
As problems go, an hour or two of being wide awake in the middle of the night isn't horrible, but...