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Sunday, October 12

"happy?" anniversary

It's the 2nd anniversary of the October storm. I've written of it before. The cold darkness for days, the snap and whoosh of the limbs through the night, the devastation in the morning, the struggle for the remaining trees to recover. The first October after the storm was devoid of color in the city. The leaves did not burn with color, they faded, turned brown, shriveled and fell to the earth in defeat. I wondered if we had lost a season. If we would never again enjoy the audacious riot of Autumn.

As we got close to home after vacation, I started to wonder about the trees. The midwest had splashes of color here and there. What would our little corner of the world be like? We got home late at night, but in the morning our bedroom was filled with the kind of light that only comes through the filter of yellow and red and orange leaves. They were back.

The huge tree across the street was slated to be cut down. There was an outcry. They actually cut one limb off before they were stopped. Give it a chance.

Her colors are subtle but defiant.

The trees I'm most happy about are the smallish ones in front of the house. I had frantically gone from tree to tree trying to shake or bat or sweep the snow from branches. It had to be a sight. Most of the attempts were futile, but those two trees were young and still small enough that I could wrap my hands around the trunk. I shook them all through the night until it got too dangerous to be out there.

My babies. Heh.

On the long drive home, we talked about where else we would live. Did I like the Bay Area? Well, of course, but the seasons. I need the 4 seasons. They are so defined here, each one so extreme, almost cartoonish. The Winter with its gray skies and blankets of snow and ice. Spring with its mud and sweet air, ice melting in the streams, bright green poking through brown. Summer hot and sunny, green, the Lake warm and glistening. And Fall. Bright with color, the sun's angle lower but still warm, the sky seeming bluer against the trees, a hint of cold in the air at night. I need it. There is something spiritual about it, I said and Russell agreed.

I may feel less spiritual in February. I'll be grumbling about being cold, I'll be aching to be outside. I'll be tired of boots and coats. But today? Today I am grateful for the simple things almost lost and the graceful, determined orbit of our lives.

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