Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Autumn, the most nostalgic season, is drifting in. It brings a cool dampness that conjures a longing for evenings with a book and hot chocolate, hay rides, pumpkins, hot soup. It signifies rest: "you've had a hot busy summer. Time to sleep out the cold and darkness that is around the corner." Nevertheless, I am sad to see autumn arrive and the days get short. David, Jaime, and my best times together are outdoors--usually walks to the park in the evenings. When the sun is down before six, we simply won't be able to do that and David is going to be sorely cramped.

It rained all night and the world was a uniform light gray this morning. On Wednesdays, Jaime leaves early, so I stay home to take David to the sitter's. I dressed him in long pants and sleeves and put actual shoes and socks on him rather than his normal Robeez moccasins. We were ready before it was time to leave, so I sat down and leafed through the most recent Andy Goldsworthy book from the Library. Eventually, David crawled into my lap and leaned back against my chest to look at it with me. I taught him "cairn." Goldsworthy works outdoors, so he deals a lot with seasons. When he creates a permanent outdoor piece, he photographs it in each season. The particular piece David and I were looking at is in Goldsworthy's home village in Scotland--a country that seems perpetually autumnal to me.

When it was time to go, I helped David put his windbreaker on and pulled up the hood to keep rain off his head. As I got my own raincoat out of the closet, he stood quietly watching me, smiling. The hood framed his face, hiding his nearly bald head and making him look older. His hands were hidden in the sleeves. His unusual stillness, the smile, and his attentiveness gave him the appearance of contentment and trust: "I'm happy to be here, Dad, thanks for taking care of me." Maybe it was the weather, maybe it is that time of the month, but I was deeply moved by David simply standing there, waiting for me to put on my coat.

After I left him at the sitter's with a goodbye kiss, I walked down the street to my car and admired the scene around me--gray, wet, and vivid green. We have many enormous trees in our neighborhood--including an oak that canopies the street where I was walking. We also have many old houses, brick sidewalks, etc. There is always an atmosphere of history and nostalgia that was enhanced this morning by the weather. Naturally, I felt inspired:

cool gray nostalgia
damp brown leaves plaster the street
my boy smiles at me

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