For the past two days I had been sick, the victim of blocked sinuses – the spaces felt like they had been reduced to the circumference of a neutron. I should probably had stayed home from work for one day more, but the thought of spending another day mentally tracing each breath as it meandered its slow and tortuous way through my nasal cavities was more than I could endure.
I was driven to work today. And as I got out of the car, something made me stand still, gasping with surprise. It wasn’t my sinuses rebelling at the shock of fresh air. It wasn’t my renewed astonishment at the bright yellow paint of my office building.
It was the wind.
Not a fey Spring wind, green and delicate. Not a Summer wind, sweaty and bronzed, like the bodies on the beach. It was an Autumn wind, swimming down from cold and distant currents. It held the promise of Winter’s chilly bite but remained playful, like a kitten sheathing its claws before it pretends to attack.
As I continued to stand, the leaves began to fall – the powder that revealed the print of the sudden wind. They gave their scent to the wind – dark and earthy; cold to the touch. They seemed to spin around me; chasing and teasing. I felt a twinge of guilt at glorying in their death, in their skin the color of sepia…but it was all Nature’s symbol of Fall, of the eternal harvest, and there was beauty there, too.
I stood transfixed, reluctant to move away from this sudden circular advent that danced around me. The wind whispered of the future: of early darkness, of amber sunsets that burned low and small beneath a heavy twilight, of air as crisp as autumn fruit.
I took in all its scattered vows, holding them close. Then, carrying my invisible bouquet, I went to work.