“. . .I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. . . “ Robert Hayden
The chilled air grabs my legs until I manage my robe and slippers. Shivering, I wend my way down the black hall missing the walls by memory of a straight line. Not wanting to break the dark, I shuffle toward the living room window willing my eyes to see beyond the remnant of night. Accepting the fact that it is morning and I am awake even though no scrap of dawn yet appears, I begin the task of warming the house. The door of the wood stove grinds open. The newsprint and wood chips glow with the touch of the match, uncertain whether to emerge. With logs added, the flames wrap around eager to consume the daily fare, shoving at one another for highest rank like siblings begging for a mother’s attention. Soon the blue dawn cold relaxes letting warm fingers of heat stretch throughout the house. Looking east, the first glow of morning silhouettes the horizon. Fall begins.
Even though it is difficult to bid summer adieu, I love going to get the wood for winter fires. The September and October days deliver deliberate blue skies, warm sun, gentle breezes and the smell of autumn. Fall has always been the time for new beginnings. All those years of school as both student and teacher meant I could try again to make it better, get it right, or learn something new. I welcome fall, its glorious days, a wood stove’s warmth and the chance to try again at whatever I choose.