The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall [. . .]
The mood affects us. It's not unpleasant, exactly, but I think we feel it as we trudge a bit faster than usual. When you're outside in this weather, it's hurrying weather. Hurry, don't dawdle. Hurry, little ones, hurry home to your holes and caves, burrows and bracken-hidden dens. There's nothing to see here, the wind seems to say. Even the usually effervescent Blueberry seems a little somber, focused.
In the last of the ancient variety of green apples clinging to the gray branches.
In the golden pine needle and leaf-strewn puddle, allowing the rain to ripple its dark surface.
Longfellow's poem goes on to say that we must have days like this. Gray and gloom there must be.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Without these days, how could we even see the sun? How could we appreciate its warmth on our skin unless we had felt the bite of cold? Longfellow was a true New Englander. He understood the austere beauty of it, its contrast of seasons. He would have approved of our walk.
The afternoon is passing as the old year is. I've been teaching Blueberry about rhythms lately. The day has a pattern as rhythmic as music, as poetry. It's time to return home - the beat of the day calls for it, as much as Buttercup cries to be nursed. Home now, as the rain comes colder, the wind freshens and the steel sky turns to lead.
i am singing the cold rain
i am singing the winter dawn
i am turning in the gray morning
of my life
---Lance Henderson, translated from Cheyenne by the author