Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still Autumn

Words and photos by Greg

I like to ride. Faced with the dread of cold, snow, of ice and winter, I had to get in one last ride on the mountain bike.

I think I have now been on four different "last rides" so far. The rumors of the imminent arrival of winter have been exaggerated. Trails have remained dry (or dry enough) and the temperatures have been chilly in a way that's not so noticeable with the sun shining. The actual "last ride" will have to wait until... Well, no one knows.

I was outside at my workbench grinding up fruit to go in the cranberry relish when I heard the cries of sandhill cranes from far overhead. There is a wildness to their clatter-and-shout that draws strange feelings from within me. Strange, because I'm unsure of their meaning. They seem to be the echo of a call to action. But what that action is, I don't know. Part of me wants to follow them, to move toward somewhere new or anciently familiar. Part of me wants to fiercely enjoy as much of the season's slanting light as possible. And part of me wants to hunker down inside and delve into hearty, earthy foods. And all this with an urgency that seems to be drawn from the coming winter.

It is still autumn. Time to be outside. Time to go places. Time to feast on the bounty of harvest. And there is probably still time for one more ride...

Not a sandhill crane.

Walking off the effects of feasting.

Not the cave we're hunkering down in when winter finally comes.

A fabulous ravioli we made from our garden squash and garden sage.

Last year: Trina and Sprocket taking one last ride.

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