|geese landing on the pond|
Acorns are dropping. They fall down through the canopy with sharp little cracks. Wild apples, too, are ripening and letting go, landing with soft thuds on the grass beneath abandoned trees. I leave the acorns to the squirrels but I polish the least wormy of the apples against the arm of my sweater and nibble slowly as I walk, always careful to make a close inspection before each bite. Wild apples always taste of sunlight and summer rain, as though both were stored just beneath the skin. Sometimes I can find enough unbruised fruit to make a pie or a batch of applesauce.
Geese are gathering on the pond every evening. They fly low over the road, their wings whispering, breaking the water’s glassy surface into brilliant shards as they land. They lift again in the morning when the mist is still thick, winging between it and the sun, only their voices revealing the secret of their flight. I hear them and feel my heart respond with an ancient yearning. I know the somber days will follow in their wake and I am reluctant to be left here to face the cold while the remains of summer are escaping on beating wings.
I am no longer wakened by bird song, though the crickets and summer bugs still sing me to sleep. When the late afternoon sun slants through the trees in transparent bands I can see innumerable insects dancing there, wings aglitter in the light as though each one were jeweled. I want to dance in the sunlight too, with jeweled wings that would lift me far and away.
Everywhere, the green and growing things are reluctantly letting go of their vibrancy. Grasses are turning buff and brown and sepia, corn stalks wave golden leaves, every tree save the evergreens boasts a different shade of crimson or yellow or orange. Milkweed pods grow thick as the leaves lose their green and with every breeze the colored remnants of summer swirl to the ground in surrender.
When I am tired of walking, I throw myself down in the crackling meadow grass, half drowsing in the warmth and silence, and watch the clouds tell shape-shifter stories. The rest of the world simply melts away and nothing is left but the moment – the sun and the grass and the wings and me.