Fall Back

There was frost on the quad the other morning. En route to an early meeting*, I noticed the tree outside the library was shedding leaves so fast that they had pooled around him, leaving a yellow ring at his feet. I had to wonder what the hurry was.

I always think of Robert Frost at this time of year. But it's never the poem you'd expect. I took the road not taken years ago and I walk it every day. Instead, "To Earthward" comes to mind.

On the last warm day we had in October, I took my shoes off to wade in Gull Pond and stretched out to dry on the rough sand, thinking of the poem's ending:

"When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length."

Or I think of "The Mending Wall" as I wander the bike trails with JW. Stone walls criss-cross through the woods as they crumble into the realm of the forgotten. They once told someone what land was his and what was not; they may have been the one and only tie between two farmers. I think of Frost and his neighbor, who never spoke except to repair the wall between them, saying "Good walls make good neighbors."

The bleak hour is nigh! Winter doesn't officially start until December 21st, but he's already lurking like a peeping Tom. In a few days, we'll change the clocks and night will fall at 4:00. My epic tan lines have faded, even the ones I got from wearing the same Tevas to camp all season (though I don't think the white bikini outline will ever go away). My allergies are getting worse. My acne is getting worse. Even my goddamn vision is getting worse - I had to switch back to my older, stronger prescription when I realized I couldn't read the slides in chapel anymore.

The time has passed for wading and sunbathing and skinnydipping. There will be no more bare feet and no more hippie dresses. It's a sad prospect.

But at least there's Christmas to look forward to! Now if only I can remember to stay away from shopping malls this year...

Peace, love, and hazelnut mocha,
Miss Rex

*I discovered moments later that the meeting had been canceled... to think I could have continued my 80s-cartoon dream about the Star Princess! Alas and alack!


K A B L O O E Y said...

Oh, boy, do I feel your pain. And I don't even have Christmas to cheer me up. Chanukah's just not that festive. But we DID have frost on the lawn today and Moochie wanted to know what the "white stuff" was. I wish it was frosting.

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