October 12th, 2006

sutter_buttes_scene

Harvest

Some sixty feet of jasmine covers an "el" of fence around half the back lawn. In all that length, two sprigs near the gate have chosen to produce small white blossoms this late in the year. As I pass, my nostrils full of the scent of dry grass and crushed dry leaves, I stop to lean close and inhale the faint fragrance of June. Small chrysanthemums are in bloom, too, and a few golden bell-shaped flowers remain on the viney plant that clings to the back fence. It is dusk, and a cricket has begun to chirp somewhere among the autumnal detritus that the wind has gathered around the fenced corner of the yard. The day was mild and sunny, with a few white cloud banks hovering above the higher mountains. There's something especially engaging about these soft October days which hark back to the vanished seasons. As I watch the birds and squirrels gather acorns and walnuts, I like to recall the spring rains and the long days of summer growth which led to this moment. This year I was distracted for much of each of those seasons, so it's nice to at least have pleasant days such as this on which to enjoy their remains.