November 03, 2005

The last nice day

We are ready for winter. The firewood is stacked, some in the garage and some out by the pond. I've moved the mittens, scarves, and hats from the big bin in the garage onto the racks in the laundry room. We have had our first snow, although it did not last long, and brightly coloured winter coats have appeared everywhere on campus and in my home community.

Usually, though, in October (well, with global warming, it's now sometimes November), we get one unusually warm day, one last sunny day on which I can take a walk in the wood without a coat or gloves. When I woke up this morning to sunshine flooding my bedroom, lighting up the cream coloured sheets and down quilt, I opened the window to feel a soft wind, and I knew that today was probably it: the last nice day, that one bonus day we get before we move into winter.

PoetWoman drove over to take a walk with me, and by the time she arrived, it was warm enough for just a sweatshirt. Leaving our coats in the house, we crossed the yard to my trail and then followed an old logging trail that leads deep into the woods. We tramped through the fallen leaves, savoring the smell of them. Now that the thick vegetation of summer has died back, I noticed mosses everywhere, lovely soft bright green moss wrapped around logs and stumps, shining brilliantly amongst crumpled brown and yellow leaves.

PoetWoman brought her camera so we stopped to take photos. We hiked through the forest of Scotch pines and then through mixed hardwoods, most of them bare. The young beech trees still retained their leaves, shining yellow gold. Near the stand of hemlock, we sat on a big fallen tree to talk and enjoy the sounds and smells of the woods.

I've been struggling with headaches these last couple of weeks, shutting off the flourescent lights in my classrooms and taking naps to ward off a full-blown migraine. But in the woods with PoetWoman, comfortably seated on the mossy trunk of the fallen tree, the sun touching my face and the wind warm, I could feel the tension drain from my body, and my head began to feel better for the first time in days.

We eventually made our way back to the house to eat the minestrone soup that had been simmering on the stove while we were walking. Reluctant to be indoors on this last nice day, we sat on the back step, talking, enjoying how warm and soft the wind was. When a lady bug began crawling across the leg of my jeans, PoetWoman took her camera out to get a close-up shot, wanting to capture the orange on blue. Whenever there was a lull in the conversation, we listened to the sound of dry leaves blowing across the yard, birds calling in the woods, and the wind chimes singing above our heads.

19 comments:

Lilian said...

It sounds like a beautiful day that you enjoyed fully, I'm glad you were able to "Carpe Diem"...

Friday Mom said...

Well, come on down here if you need to thaw out anytime in the next few months. If today is any indication, we will not be having winter at all. It was 89 degrees when I got home from work.

Sounds like a wonderful day. Got enough of the minestrone soup left to share?

jo(e) said...

Plenty of soup left. When I make soup, I use a huge stockpot and make gallons. I only know how to cook in huge quantities.

Come visit, and you can have some.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Mmmmm. That post even smelled good.

listmaker said...

What a beautiful way to spend the day; lucky you.

peripateticpolarbear said...

I want to live in your world.

susan said...

What a great day...we had the last nice day here, too, although we had a more urban version of the walk through the woods: the walk on the sidewalk collecting leaves and scuffing our feet through the piles in front of houses.

The soup sounds great.

Piece of Work said...

The way you write is so soothing, Joe. The cadence of your words is just comforting. I really feel relaxed just reading about your day.

ccw said...

It all sounds so beautiful! What a great way to spend a fair weather day.

Sue said...

mmmm.....soup. Sounds like a wonderful day.

Mona Buonanotte said...

What's going on w/ your migraines, hon? Are yours triggered by food or by period, or stress? Maybe a good long massage would do you some good.

I would love a bowl of your soup, a wooden bowl, please, by the fire.

Bettie Bookish said...

As I sit here in the south - highs around 80 today - contemplating a move to the north, I read your post and understand the appeal - no, the biological imperative - of turning seasons.

Thank you for sharing your last lovely day.

jo(e) said...

Mona: All kinds of things trigger my migraines. I've really restricted what I eat -- no meat or dairy, and I try to eat only organic stuff -- and that has helped a lot. But stress and hormones definitely play a role. One thing beyond my control is weather patterns. When a low pressure system moves in, I can feel it in my head. So I get these days when I am just on the edge of a full-blown migraine. Stuff like reiki and massage and sex does help, but only for an hour or so, and then the headache returns ....

HeyJules said...

Came on over from RevGAlBlogPals to say hello. Beautiful post for a beautiful day! We are in the middle of our last few days of warmth here in the great Midwest. Alas, I have no woods outside my door to trample through...just a neighborhood full of Oaks and Maple trees. It shall have to suffice.

Mieke said...

What a vivid post. I felt like I was there, I could smell the leaves and then the soup. I LOVE soup. I love it love it love it.

Hmmmmm.

Danny said...

A walk in the woods sounds so nice. For me, it's mostly "runs along the rice fields" (no woods here). But no snow either, except on the distant mountains.

Yankee T said...

It's still warm here and I am such a city mouse...your post sounds so inviting. To be able to walk out your door and into the woods seems like a luxury. (However I don't miss the hats, scarves and mittens in November and early December...)
As always, jo(e), you write so beautifully...you make me want to be there.

halloweenlover said...

Beautiful Jo(e). I love this post. You've inspired me to call my aunt and see if she'd like to take a walk tomorrow since we're projected to have a nice day tomorrow as well.

Marie said...

Indeed, a beautiful post. I struggle with migraines too, although it sounds like you've done far more to battle yours than I have. I have found that regular massage (every 2 weeks) helps some, but I'd love to hear more about your diet. And the soup does sound wonderful. I can just smell it. Nice blog redesign too. Very serene.