Thursday, October 09, 2008


After a few chilly nights, the leaves in lower reaches around Roundtop are developing quite a bit of color. Higher areas are still pretty green, though it’s a deathly looking green, not the lush shades of summer.

The quiet around me grows ever quieter, as birds leave and their numbers drop. The insect chorus is much diminished, too. I am surprised to hear any at all, but some are still out there. After dark, I can now see my breath against the brightness of my headlamp. For a few moments that seems novel again, after months without it. I huff and puff and watch my breath smoke as Dog looks at me as if I’ve gone crazy.

Sounds that were muffled in summer after traveling through millions of leaves are now more distinct because there are fewer leaves to muffle them. I can hear a distant freight train rumble and its whistle blow, and then the rumble fades in the distance. In summer, the whistle is all I can hear. I am fortunate to live where quiet is always the rule, no mater what the season. In winter, sometimes the quiet can even feel too quiet, and a distant sound is a reminder that I am not really alone. At such times, a distant sound is welcome and feels almost friendly.

But for now and for most times, I enjoy the quiet and the quieting of the land around me. It’s like that deep, relaxing breath just before falling asleep at night. The one where you know sleep is only a moment away.

1 comment:

Aleta said...

This is beautiful writing! We live in a quiet area also. We have 80 acres in eastern Tennessee, most of it woods and ridges. We are way back in a "holler" and we don't have neighbors that we can see. I'm from Pennsylvania & wanted to buy property up there but it was too expensive for us. So we got the next best thing, here where we get four seasons and the woods and hills.