Winter came stealing round the house last night. Not ready to make a commitment… just looking for a one night stand; hoping to cheat Autumn out of one of our last evenings together. He can be like that, you know.
Autumn is a lush, and I adore her. She woos me with reds and yellows, draping her gemstones from the trees, just to see me smile. No gesture is too grand. She lavishes her table with pies, thick stews, heavy bread, and mulled wine. Everyone is invited, but we sneak out when no one’s looking, and get drunk on the sweet clear air, and the long golden embrace of the late afternoon sun. Each time she comes around, I dream of running off together, dressing in gypsy shawls, and following her past the line of migrating birds to the edge of the horizon.
But last night, Winter crashed the party. I left the windows closed, not ready for him yet, and woke to 20 degrees, and a hard frost scattered across the yard; crystals clinging to the windshield, like angry petals, left by a temperamental lover – part threat, part promise.
Fierce and moody, he’s impatient with Autumn’s hedonism. He has his own agenda, his own way. Of course, when he’s done, he marches off without so much as a goodbye. But you can’t take that personally. That’s just him. And between you and me, we’re both ready to part ways by then.
With a growl, he sweeps away the last of the summer haze, and paints Autumn’s rich colors in hues of gray: tree bark, frost on the fallow earth, low clouds, smoke rising on the wind… Without adornment, and without fanfare, he courts. His intensity alone compels.
He’s not a gentle lover… too demanding, no compromise. But he delights in juxtaposition – the pop and crackle of a fire, red embers glowing against the howl of wind outside. Everything comes clear in his company, and when I follow him, I find myself staring into deep pools along an unbeaten trail. His gifts are hard won, and I come away from our bed richer, stronger, his fierceness seeping into my bones.
I can feel my pulse quicken as I light this first fire of the season. The wood smoke carries his scent back to me, and I’m ready to dance with him again; firewood chips on the floor, silent morning walks, ice coating bare branches, and a night sky where the stars shine so big I can reach up and pluck them.
I don’t want to miss his call. So I light the fire… smoke trailing through the chimney; a signal that I’ll be here.
To follow where he takes me.
Celebrating the journey…