Autumn Light

There is certain quality of autumn light that arrests me, makes me stop  and just experience the moment.

It’s that time before the deep blue of the gloaming sets in, when the white slashes of house trim and slender birches fairly glow. When the clouds are pink candy floss on the mackerel-belly sky and everything else is painted that rare golden hue.

Usually it grounds me, makes me remember to breathe deep, and feel the strength in me that remains. It’s one of the reasons I love Fall—a brisk wind or the low rumble of thunder riding skies like that gives me an energy like nothing else.

But tonight I stepped out into that light, and had only a moment of appreciation for the bent birch, and the straggling yellow flowers that dotted the too-long grass.

Just one moment before a slow wave of sadness rode up with the wind, and instead of energy, I felt like loss. Like the death of someone close, remembered long after—the solid, sad surety that comes after the anger and the bargaining and the denial are over.

The awareness of life moving on, with just the tiniest of tugs at the chest, on the muscles that would support my wings.

The feeling made me edgy, made me rush through my errand in a car going just a little too fast, with the music just a little too loud. Like I was afraid. Like I was racing against the news of death.

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