Land Journal: October 2014

In August 2013 I moved to Plainfield, Massachusetts, to the foot of Deer Hill/West Mountain, on the edge of the valley of the Westfield River. The journal below is my story of getting to know my new home: the land that stretches up the side of the mountain behind my house.

October 16, 2014: Fall Rain

It rained all night. And still the rain keeps falling. Leaves are falling in showers too, stripped from the trees by the rain and wind. Churning brown water fills the stream; sliding over my feet and swirling around my shins. Leaves brush past me and race on downstream, caught and tumbling in the turbulent water. Rain drums on my back, and runs down into my eyes and then down my checks like tears. The tree trunks are black but the ground is covered in leaves, brown and red and golden yellow, seeming nearly to glow with an inner light, warming the forest and cushioning my footsteps as I walk in the rain.

October 8, 2014: Fall Light

In the last four days over two inches of rain have fallen, soaking the forest and bringing a fresh liveliness to the stream. But the sky is blue this morning with just a few small clouds racing by, sliding overhead on the back of a brisk west wind. Even well after it rose, the sun is low in the sky, casting a fall light, sliding sideways through the trees rather than blazing down from high above as it did in the summer.

October 7, 2014: Leaves

Water falls from the trees with each passing gust but the rain has passed. Gray clouds thin and sunlight breaks through, brightening the misty, damp forest. Wet leaves glisten on the forest floor. More spiral down each passing gust. But gold still crowns the trees high overhead and green surrounds me, down at my level, as I walk in the forest. After searching for the brightest trees overhead I realize that the very best colors are at my feet; individual leaves, red and yellow and many shades in-between, each a small, fleeting jewel. I pick up my favorites to bring home, but somehow they’re never quite the same once I bring them inside.

Go to September 2014