No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! —
It’s pitch dark when I go to work in the morning lately. Then, when I’m finally off for the day, I get that look in my eye that you’ll sometimes see on the squirrels this time of year—right before they make an ill-timed dash into traffic. Which, of the hundred things that I wanted to accomplish today, should I do in the little daylight remaining?
My inner squirrel screeches, Just hurry up and do something, because tomorrow will only be shorter! And colder!
So, this afternoon, I was stirring up a batch of sweet potato bread, when a movement outside the kitchen window caught my eye. It was a squirrel heading up the driveway, and he was so clearly Up to Something, that I walked over to the window to watch.
He was in no particular hurry—not him. He zigged, he zagged. He moved with a singularly purposeful purposelessness. He stopped often, sitting up to look around—looking everywhere but where I knew him to be heading. You see, I had only just put the aging jack-o-lanterns outside, not an hour before (best to get them out of doors before they go completely feral, I always say).
Finally, with a last “Who, me? Not me,” look around, the squirrel disappeared from view behind the brush pile (which, coincidentally, happened to be where I’d left the zombie punkins). I expect they’ll be looking considerably more ragged in the morning…
Before the squirrel came along, the sun had just skulked through the kitchen in much the same fashion. It moved slowly, casually, but it didn’t linger, and it was only too obvious that it had somewhere else to be. I knew where it was going, too—Australia. I can’t say I blame it for being in a hurry.
The sun was still wonderfully warm in the mid-afternoon today, but it wasn’t the same warmth it had in October. In November, the sun takes its warmth with it. The chill is always right there in the edges, as close as the nearest shadow, as close as sundown. As close as winter.