I closed my eyes listened to the past drifting through

fall sky and trees

A perfect autumn day, when I was a kid this was called “Indian summer.” When the temperatures rise so all I need is a sweater. This is as close to perfect weather as I can hope for.

I walked around the path, watching the ground and hoping to avoided raccoon scat, muskrat holes and sticks. I kicked up the leaves; they were curled and dried crunching with each step.

The mud on the low end of the path was easier to walk over today, not as slippery as yesterday. Green grass was making an attempt grow, not only on the edges of the path but directly in the center. I took advantage of that new growth using it as stepping stones.  

I checked out the prints in the mud, my dogs, raccoons and deer, and small rat feet.  That deer must be heavy, his hooves sunk deep in the mud. My shoes hardly sunk in at all.  The marks I left would be the same if I had walked on pavement with wet shoes.

I set off up and to my right. I noticed that the farm to the south hasn’t been harvested. That farmer has been out at night for the past week. Early Saturday morning around two- thirty, he was in the fields to the north.   

I stopped and listened to the rustling, dried corn stalks.  Tall beige grasses moved around me in the warm breeze. Rustling, crackling, a branch squeaked over head.  

Walking amid the dry grass, I could imagine others who passed through here over the centuries. Did they pause and listen to this sound of autumn?  Were they in a hurry to gather the last of the seeds, fruits and vegetable storing them for a long winter? Or, did they pass through, taking with them dreams of the tall grass and rustling warm breezes.  Maybe they weaved corn husk dolls, and canned fruit.

A faint buzzing and humming sound drifted my way. The farmer was out in his fields. Sounds drifted to me from the south. I hope that he doesn’t cut this field today; I wanted to keep the windows open.   Dust will spread out from his tractor, and spread all over the house, if I don’t close all the windows.

I hesitated and listened. Crows flew noisily overhead. To my right there was movement in-between the trees. A young buck saw me; startled he started to run, and then changed his mind, and sauntered into the thicket. I smiled and nodded.

 The farmer is still too far away. I have time to enjoy my morning walk. I may even have an hour or two to air out the house.

In this moment, I closed my eyes listened to the past drifting through.

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