After work today, I walked around the farm fields at the bottom of our road, a carpooling place from years ago. I have a photo of my younger daughter when she was three, running with a friend over enormous white-plastic-wrapped bales of hay, in sheer summertime joy. The field’s fallow now, a great swath of black earth opened up, studded with thistles and stones, emptied of visible life. Even the cartwheeling crows have abandoned these fields. The summer’s radiance has been driven over by the denser hues of gray and black, autumn’s burst of foliage nothing but a splash before winter hammers its solid pins in.
I, for one, welcome in the fallow season, craving a chunk of stillness, wishing the frothy madness of the world (from local gossip to national news) to keep at bay for a bit – or at least a weekend.
Walking with my neighbor this afternoon, we speculated that a brown shape in the dirt road ahead of us was a cluster of fallen leaves, but as we approached, the shape lifted with small wings, and then flew nearby: a wood thrush, quietly keeping us company, swooping nearby and then flickering away into the woods, among the falling leaves.
Wild creatures have the confidence
to realise it’s time for rest.
Nature regards man as a jest,
and doubts his mental competence.
All nature knows it’s for the best
to realise its time for rest.
— Ivor Hogg