Silenced


Tomato plant succumbing to snowfall

"I have nothing left to say about anything."

The weather reporter insisted that it wouldn't snow until tomorrow, most probably over tomorrow night. I figured I'd have the whole day to watch the summer flowers bask in their last day gracing the back of the place. Yesterday, the fog hung low like on some backlot from an old Sherlock Holmes movie, humidity hovering in the nineties all day. I brought inside the huge three and a half year old geranium, and the half dozen basil plants so The Muse could make one last big batch of fresh pesto, along with the hibiscus, even though I know the hibiscus won't like it one bit in the house. It was still blooming, still late Spring in its head, and I felt it only decent to at least try to extend its life, even though I well understood the futility involved. The months of tender care, the casual evening fare grilled out there almost every night, are gone now. Silenced by the first Fall snow.

Autumn arrives abruptly here along the Front Range.
No weeks of shuffling through ever deepening and crisping piles of leaves. No conking acorns falling from lofty oaks. No sweetness to the transition at all. No transition. One day it still seems like Summer, leaves hardly turning. The next day a fog bank slips in and a day or two afterwards, the snow comes. There's never anyplace to run and hide. I'm moved to stay inside, my functional roaming space instantly decreased by a third. The flock of magpies have started following the elk herd, hopping between those beasts' backs to peck off ticks. The elk, even the huge six pointer bulls, welcome their presence, standing as if for haircuts while the magpies cry their best Heckle and Jeckle jokes, chuckling as they feed. A few will stop by the deck to see what Rose The Skittish Spinster Cat's leftovers have wrought, but Summer's bought the farm.

Rose spent yesterday sleeping against the base of the fireplace, heating herself to within a degree of her flash point, seemingly unconcerned that she might simply flash off into a cloud of smell and smoke. I carry a similar yoke. Summer's decisively disappeared and a certain despair seems determined to fill our space now. The snow seems heartless and old already, an ancient curse cruising down out of the high country to lay everything low. I know it comes. If not this week, then next. If not then, sooner than expected. Always sooner than expected. Preparation's never complete. Hoses and sprinklers refuse to roll up properly and the garage seems utterly unprepared for fresh tenants, familiars already over-staying their hesitant welcome as they arrive.

I acknowledge that there will be some Spring-like days tucked between the fierce freezing ones. They'll come as slight respite, sandwiched in like false promises. They offer no new beginning, but slim opportunities to finally finish endings already fumbled. An ending has started now and will continue until long after exhaustion completely settles in. The hibernation is starting, and hibernation brings unsettling dreams, ones with one leg in what certainly must have one day been and the other eternally out of the reach of what might one day be tugging from the other side. By Christmastime, I might find some beauty inside this brutality, some promise of existence beyond a slow and certain demise, some semblance of a promise of some resurrection within it. Now, I'm tugging musty woolens out of storage, eyeing my perennially inadequate closet. I expect to be hovering between summers until sometime late next May. It's a sad and disturbing day. I have nothing left to say about anything.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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