Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ozarks 27.9.03: Beggars' Lice and Crisp White Wine

Aster vying with goldenrod to be the prettiest flower of the glads; hickory nuts falling with huge whomps on the tin roof; squirrels scampering after such nuts; evening light making sumac a red hardly to be believed; daddy long-legs capering in advance of the cold snap; beggars' lice hitching rides on any inch of clothing they can grab; wind chime slowly singing in the west wind; mushrooms gold, red, brown, some spotted with green and one a yellow filament affair like a sponge or an American form of shiitake.  

As the day goes on, more of the front comes through, making the late-afternoon air and sunlight that wine air and sun of autumn.  And we're toasting it with glasses of white wine, crisp and gold in the afternoon sun.  Why white when it's green gold embodied?  And to think that the grapes that yield this glass of sunlight caught grew along the Mosel in Germany and their wine's being drunk in the Ozarks in Arkansas.

I eschew time, here.  It could be 4.  It could be 5.  Who cares?  If I tip my head down to watch Brassie, her nose just off the porch as she surveys the creek, I catch the sun beneath the porch roof, just in eyes and face.  Not the sun of summer--a friend, not foe.  I can feel in my bones how welcome its warmth and light will be come winter.

And just now, I see its angle will catch the northern slopes before it dips any lower, bring evening to our tiny valley long before day ends on higher ground.  The north side of the creek is suddenly in shade, one triangular rock on the south side of the waterfall pool gloriously illuminated, every pock in its face cast in brightness and chiaroscuro, its lichen like something intricately carved by a master craftsman.

Brassie, unusually self-assertive, is at the pool drinking and dabbling, now rolling luxuriously ion her back.  I hope the thick grass and cool ground heal the itch that seems these days to trouble her.

Thoreau, Walden:

We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking.  I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else I knew as well.  Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.  Moreover, I on my side require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.

Rafferty's The Ozarks says that summer nights are notable for the cool air that streams down hillsides an hour or so before sunset.   I've seen this just now.  Looking up, I could see the few wispy clouds motionless, but the trees atop the south hill began to sway noticeably in a wind I began to feel on my face, as I watched the setting sun illuminate that hillside.  Fall yes, but late summer still, judging by the wind.

No comments: