Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fall of Spring

There are, I believe, seasons within seasons. Certainly there's a winter of spring on a raw day in March, just like there's a spring of winter in a February thaw. And in far-off June, the summer of spring will dovetail with the spring of summer. Very hard to tell apart. The difference between an exhale of one breath and an inhale of the next.

Today, however, was the rarest subseason, maybe the only day we'll see it: the fall of spring.

It's all in the intention, like a mockingbird imitating a blue jay.
In this case, the tool of choice was the wind. Big, tree-tossing gusts, a six on the Beaufort Scale ("Large branches in motion. Whistling heard in overhead wires. Umbrella use becomes difficult. Empty plastic garbage cans tip over.") Definitely that last one. And in a survival of the fittest, the air was alive with young green leaves snatched from their branches, denied their natural arc to the fall of fall, for Pete's sake.

Later in the afternoon, I took a walk in Menotomy Rocks Park, a sweet secluded woods and pond up the hill from Arlington Center. The wind had ebbed a bit, to five ("Small trees in leaf begin to sway."), but it was doing this wonderful thing to the surface of the pond—a flash, a flare, changing the color and texture in flat delicate smashes—bam! shazam!—like a Broadway dance number. I felt like applauding.

Finally, there was the crispness of the leaves against the sky, miming an October blue.
While I was having my tea and scone outside Jam 'n Java, a cardinal even appeared in the tree next to my table. A brilliant, where's-my-camera-when-I-need-it red. He essayed a few soft whistles. I knew exactly what he was saying:
"April Treat!"

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