Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red leaves in the sunshine

I'm dizzy if I look down and notice the spinning planet I'm standing on. The leaves are turning, but a couple of warm days have brought back the gnats and no-see-ums and haunting humidity of summer. The clarity of elevation does me little good, although on this hike up Mt. Cardigan it was reassuring to scramble on the basaltic upper slopes veined with quartz and the carved monograms of ancient Eastern mountain men and women before the days of Lonely Planet and globalized virtual virtuosity. There is a change, even on a mild hike like this, that comes upon you when you climb. There is an intimation of getting closer to the source, and a fellow hiker looks you in the eyes as if he knows you from somewhere. The collective unconscious breathes the rarefied air of mountain heights.

In the garden this evening we cleared away the overgrown pumpkins that had taken over the potato rows. A skunk has crawled under the wood shed, hoping for a winter bunk. Work teaching has taken over the days and my body feels a need for strenous activity. I tried to run with the seventh and eighth grade soccer team, during a practice the coaches covering defensive positions, and popped three muscles in my legs. There is nothing gracious about this.
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