September 16, 2007
We wanted to go paddling while the weather was still warm and sunny, to absorb as much sunshine as possible before the cold weather arrived. We talked on Friday and agreed to meet the next morning at PlantsWoman's house, where we'd load one of her canoes onto her car.
But Saturday morning was cold, and rain clouds moved across the fields as I drove to the old farmhouse where PlantsWoman lives. She'd built a fire in her woodstove, and the house smelled nicely like woodsmoke as I came in. She'd gathered tomatoes from her garden along with basil, onions, and garlic, and soup simmered on her stove. We pulled up chairs to her wooden table and cut up the loaf of fresh Italian bread I'd bought on my way. Rain came splattering down past the windows as we talked, her big dog weaving his way under the table and knocking at the other chairs. A black-and-white cat sat on the windowsill near the fire, licking her paws and looking out at the rain.
When the sky cleared for just a bit, we decided to take a walk at a marsh that's tucked in between the hills of farmland. Wriggly Dog came with us, eager to run and explore. A recent windstorm had knocked several trees across the trails, including a huge old cherry tree that must have stood there for decades. In another spot, we found logs covered with fungi that had fallen into a bed of ferns. The woods smelled like dead leaves and moss.
We climbed a hill to look across at the marsh, sitting down to talk and look out at the scene. PlantsWoman's two daughters are grown now, one living in the southwest and the other in college, and we talked about how it felt to move into a new stage of life after so many years. As we chatted, flocks of geese moved across the sky, honking to each other. A chilly wind rippled across the cattails and through the trees, cutting right through the thick fleece I was wearing. We decided it was time to go back to the house for mugs of hot tea by the fire.
"I think the season has changed," PlantsWoman said, "This feels like fall."
Posted by jo(e)