Monday, September 25, 2006

Autumn Dreams 

A fallen Willow, like our own tends to be.

Last week it was unseasonably warm, though too foggy for true indian summer; fast forward three days and it's fullblown fall. Nights drop down to the forties; leaves turn, scatter, cover the dying lawn in golds and reds.

At night, I suffer antibiotic dreams. Three times since last week I've woken to the fastfading horror of my children lost, or drowning, or missing, always unsaveable and my fault eternally, my old adolescent fears of high-stakes impotence rising through my subconscious unawares while they slumber beside me.

I arrived home today to find the living room furniture where the playroom had been, a surprise, but a fitting rearrangement, and not just because this Thursday will mark our one year anniversary in this home, and since homelessness. The children sat unexpectedly calm at their old craft table where a chair once filled the corner, wearing butterfly wings and pumpkin hats, sharing a project peaceably, after months of unsettled, half-dangerous competition.

Funny how a simple change of scene can bring about such difference of emotion. Funny how the seasonal despair sneaks up on me through my subconscious, every year a new discovery, as if I had not felt a lifetime of watching from outside myself in horror as I holed my own boats. Funny, too, how things always start so fine, and how I've never noticed that, after 33 years as first student, then teacher, beginnings always mean Septembers.

But the apples this year are especially crisp: Empires and Cortlands, we picked them ourselves. The children are blond and beautiful, charmers who stop in the school office to bring Daddy's lunch and leave an impression that will not wear off all day. My wife moved a couch today; cleaned house; kept the children happy; found joy for and in us all as everyday, and still managed to make the perfect omelet for supper. The air is clean here, and smells of woodsmoke.

Tomorrow I will wake in darkness, walk unseen stairs to push the coffee button, sneak out into the chill of morning, sit on the porch in the still dark, listen to the blood rush in my ears. Dreams fade, and nightmares, too; as everyday, so will it be tomorrow. What's one dream, one change of scene, when the world is as true and clear as the evening light through the newly cleared woods? We're here, and sometimes, this is everything, and all that matters.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:18 PM |

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