Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall in New England, Part III: Weather & Light

BTW, as I was just on the subject of winter food and cooking, this is one of my most favorite articles on the topic of cooking for comfort, written by the extraordinary Regina Schrambling. Note the date. Note that she never once mentions what had just happened. In a way this is the best piece I've ever read about that event, ranks up there with Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. They both express the inexpressible, without ever getting into facts. There's a time for journalism and a time for art, and these are both the latter, the ever-elusive attempt to capture what we really feel.

The way the light changes almost overnight in the fall is breathtaking. It goes from a warm orange and red light to a cold almost bluish light. The colors are all orange and red around us, and yellow, and gray, and yes, even green, on the fields of winter wheat, and the evergreens, and the grass. But the light that shines on it is cold, and getting colder.

We hear Canada geese honking overhead as they fly in formation to wherever they are going. Lots of them hanging out on the lake near our house. The telephone wires were full of little birds today. Dave says the birds all came back on Saturday. The yard was full of chickadees, there were juncos and finches and woodpeckers. And of course those geese.

It was 32 last night and cold and rainy yesterday, finally -- late last week they'd started predicting rain for the whole weekend, but it only hit on Sunday. Mostly it's cold, in the 30s and 40s. Sometimes warmer, and you still see occasional shorts, but that's the New England sturdy thing at work; it's really too cold for shorts. I am waiting anxiously for the first snow -- the Hilltowns, just a few miles northwest of here, have already gotten snow that stuck to the ground. We've only had flurries in Northampton. Soon enough.

So now we rise in the dark, the sun just rising as Lily heads down the street toward her bus. She has to leave the house at 7:05 to make his first pass -- she can pick it up on the way back about seven minutes later, but better safe than sorry. Today no one set an alarm and I woke up at 6:52. Lily was driven to school, the sun glaring right into our eyes as we headed east to N. King Street, and then I made my way to the Evolution Cafe.

Now I spend time inside. Cafes are becoming my life again, or I load up the wood stove and sit at the dining room table with my computer and papers. Now I cook beef stew and watch the leaves fall in a flurry. Fall is rushing toward the death of winter, to be sure, but neither is endless and the promise of spring comes after that; even though last June put the lie to that, I still believe in rejuvenation. The longest day of the year is only December, after all. And meanwhile, there's nothing like the light of a full moon shining on a world of snow.

1 comment:

  1. lovely piece from Regina and lovely to hear your voice again on the blog! xoxo


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