I dropped off three 14-year-old girls in the rain to rake leaves, seriously pursuing their entrepreneurial odd-job endeavor, then parked my little silver Toyota along the road and walked.
November: the season when the cold clouds come down to your face. As a kid in New Hampshire, I remember this as the season when the stone wall behind our house no longer warmed up in the sun, and we had the delicious pleasure of playing outside in the dark — before dinner.
I walked up a dirt road I had never followed, then saw a sign about a marker. I followed small white squares through the woods, startling six deer with brilliant white tails, and found a marker for the colonist who cleared a farm, built a cabin, and planted orchards. 1789. Down a hillside, a stream murmured.
The marker was placed by his descendants, in 1930, on the original site of the cabin. Father of 11 children, I stood there — me, the rain-wet trees and sodden, fallen leaves, the pale gold apples yet on the gone-wild trees — and wondered, And what of his wife?
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.