“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.” – Humbert Wolfe
It’s the first day of autumn and after an early morning rain and atmospheric mist, I’ve found a weathered bench to sit on above gently rolling waves – slate blue with the bright afternoon sun sparkling like champagne upon them dazzling my eyes, A lone paddle boarder makes their way across the expanse between two large leafy trees adding a grace note to the unfolding day. I hope it’s a sign of more beautiful days like this to come…
I try to collect grace notes throughout my days as we make our way out of this pandemic and the reckoning left behind. Every once in awhile I see someone walking down our busy urban sidewalks reading a book and it makes me smile. Despite collective worries they’ve managed to create a mobile sanctuary adding yet another grace note to the vista from my outdoor table at my local coffee bar. Although, my favourite readers are those I find reading in the fragrant grove just down our street enticing me to wander and get lost in my own book!
Any hope of more fleeting days of forever summer have been extinguished by cooler than normal temperatures and early storms, bringing relentless rain and fierce winds. Our bucolic neighbourhood lost another great tree one street over leaving part of the leafy street naked. It fell across the road taking one or two smaller trees with it while striking the side of a three story building and shattering a window. I wonder if those now unshaded windows will reveal dusty corners and surfaces creating extra fall cleaning for the tenants affected after the loss?
This October weekend has been awash in rain resulting in many cups of tea inside, catching up on correspondence and gathering the ingredients for hearty fall soups. In between the rain showers today I stepped out with only drops of water from the canopy above falling upon me from golden leaves, the summer sun stored within creating much needed faux light. Other colours compete for my attention too – glowing reds, burnished ambers and dark green.
A stop later by our local library and community centre yielded two gifts, a new magazine to take out and a notice board filled with the musings of fellow West Enders describing in beautiful poignant words what our vibrant community means to them. One magical excerpt described a swathe of green grass that became an oasis for a young father and his children during the harrowing lockdown of last year. Located beside a parking lot closed to discourage large crowds and movement, they named this sacred space Greenhill Park where it hosted many a picnic and precious playtime hours. I often walk by this lush parklet and after reading this man’s words I know I’ll be thinking about this West End space differently. Another writer wrote about her childhood wanders with her mother to the Saturday morning West End Farmers Market with her current read a constant companion. These two offerings lifted my spirits in place of the warm sun making the errands of the day effortless.
November-like weather has also wandered in early chasing away any lingering summer-like days of fall, luckily we’ve found a local sanctuary of our own to wander to in the aptly named Park Pub – a safe place to raise a glass against all storms and celebrate life!