|Not taken this morning|
Likely the extra dark morning is why I didn’t hear a peep or see any forest dwellers other than Doodle, my rooster, this morning. Baby Dog and I took our usual walk, and even the headlamp didn’t help much. I kept remembering Robert Jordan’s description of “the Ways” in his Wheel of Time series, an underground passage where light didn’t penetrate and travelers who got too far behind the leader never found their way out. That’s what this morning felt like. The darkness seemed to gobble up the light from my lamp and didn’t illuminate but a few feet in any direction. Even Baby Dog seemed subdued and hung by my heels more than she usually does. This kind of darkness is a far cry from a clear night’s darkness that is hung with familiar stars overhead to keep me company and guide my way.
October is soon coming to an end, and with it the last of the leaves will fall. When I’m not encircled by clouds, I can see, barely, portions of the slope of Nell’s Hill to the west of my cabin. I can see it clearly all summer whenever I walk out of the woods and onto the abandoned ski slope, but 50 yards or so of forest separates it from my view during the leafy seasons. Even after the leaves fall, the view is striped by tree trunks but that seems a minor veiling. Certainly, it’s nothing compared with the gloomy gray blanket that covered the mountain this morning.