Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's That Wet, Cracking Sound?

No, not the fallen branches underfoot in the woods this time of year - something else...

Oh, it's the first of October and that sound must be the hearts of those millions of northeasterners who have decamped to Florida and Texas and Arizona and similarly horrifying places over the last couple of decades.

Places with climates congenial to achy joints, and also to man-sized reptiles and hand-sized biting insects.

Places famous for poisonous snakes and developers; flat, flat places with shallow-rooted vegetation that does not change color in the fall.

If I had been born in another century, and on the other side of the sea, I think I would have been the sister who stayed: Bridie, alone, by the peat fire in the cottage. The letters would come back full of the marvels of New York and Boston and Milwaukee and Toronto and I would look at the green grass and the mist and think, "I still would not trade."

My brother in Dallas will ask again this winter, when I am complaining about making no money, and driving over an ice-coated road through the dark in a sideways snow storm, why I don't move to a real place? My sister in Florida will tell me in February about 82 degrees and no humidity.

But they don't have Fall, a proper Fall, in Texas or Florida and I couldn't bear to give it up. Nor spring for that matter. And while we're on the subject, winter is hard here, but it has its rewards (bright days, hunkering down during a quiet snow storm, snowshoeing and skiing through a world altogether different from what it will be six months later) and our Summers are like gold. And in the Fall, of course, at least for a few weeks, just about every place you look is so beautiful... Maybe that sound is my own heart breaking for sight of it.


neill said...

you nailed it!

R. Sherman said...

Winter in your neck of the woods provides the rest of us with those December calendar photos of the snow covered hills and the village of federalist houses, bedecked in pine branches and red wreathes surrounding the obligatory Congregationalist Church.

As for moving someplace "real," I spent a year in L.A. and that was enough to cause me to always want to experience four seasons.


JenX67 said...

Beauty of a post. In Oklahoma, we have all four seasons, quite distinct. Some autumns are better than others, depending on rain. We are in between two weather systems, so the pendelum (sp?) swings wide. It's not for everyone, and I curse the winters. The wind here is like a razor-sharp icicle. It cuts right through you. And summers - up to 106 sometimes. I don't think I could ever leave it. Spring and fall are glorious here. That line about equally horrifying (or whatever it was) places was pretty funny. And, man-sized insects and 'gators, too. I'd pretty much rather bite off my own pinky than live in Dallas, Houston - Florida - and a dozen other places.

Nan said...

I'm with you! I agree completely. I've always said if I moved somewhere to 'retire' it would only be further north. :<) Great, great post.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Wow, a very beautiful place indeed. I love those proper snowy winters too. I wonder how'll it'll be in France this time of year, we can see the mountains and feel when there's snow on them, exciting things seasons

KSV Woolfoot said...

Hey All - thanks for stopping by. One of my favorite quotations is Somerset Maugham: "People ask for criticism, but they only want praise." Well, I am not asking for criticism. Praise is good.

Fall continues apace here and I was out in it again today, but now the wind is growing colder. How superior those Sun People will feel to all of us pale lovers of the four seasons and soon too.

Juliet said...

What wonderful photos - absolutely beautiful.