Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4

I was beset by writer's block this morning and so instead of working I sat at my desk and watched the shadows of leaves chase each other across the wall. The maple tree outside my window has held on admirably, but today its leaves were falling in flurries; giant yellow snowflakes, catching in drifts and banks on the lawn below. The temperature dropped dramatically a couple nights ago, and suddenly it's not difficult to imagine snow in place of the leaves.

The enormous oak tree next door has leaves the colour of old, burnished copper saucepans. In the morning, if I time it right, there's a short time when I can catch the sun as the light slants down and illuminates the leaves from behind. I stand at the window with a cup of tea in hand and I watch the leaves glow just like a stained-glass window: yellow and green, crimson and burnt-orange, black branches instead of lead solder. The layers shift in the breeze. Five minutes later, the spectacle is over for another day. Another week, and it will be over for another year, and the only stained glass I'll have to admire will be the windows in the hundred year–old church down the street. It suffices.

Meanwhile, the cool days with their early evenings have their small consolations – crisp air,  woodsmoke and beeswax candles; rice pudding, jewel-like pomegranate seeds and tiny, juicy oranges; woollen hats, handknit socks and cozy afghans. Spiced tea and spiced rum. The fall-coloured leaf and the stained-glass window.

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