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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Let Me Have October

      So, there we were. Living in October. October in New England. Some of us had never done this before. Early in the morning I went out on the long porch with my coffee. Every one else was still sleeping. It was chilly, damp, misty. The Green Mountains that we had gazed at the night before were shrouded, seeming elusive and far away. It was quiet. That foggy morning quiet. The kind where you can hear your thoughts. I could hear the leaves falling. Like rain, like tiny bits of gold. There was no wind. The little birch leaves were just tumbling down, dancing, whirling, falling like rain drops on the damp forest floor. It's the loveliest thing to hear. In October. In New England.

    I saw, through the mist. Looking through the misty years behind me. I searched for shadows, for pieces of the past, for long ago voices, for surely I could hear them in this quiet October morning. My sisters, the younger ones were only two and four when I left home. My brother had not yet been born. So we don't have a past the way my other sisters and I do. It's like we are learning our lives all over again. In a different time and a different place. But we still find that we are sisters and brother, linked by all the generations that have gone before. We have read the same books, like the same food, hear the same music. Its a beautiful thing.

       So, we drive around October. Take a trial through the woods to where the water fall crashes from the cliffs. Drive up a mountain, with edges and curves, and see the hardwood forest turn to scrub pines and rocks, great granite out croppings, where the wind shakes us and the Long Trail goes off through the stunted trees. We admire the mountain chapel, tiny and staunch. We window shop in quaint mercantiles and eat deli lunches. We watch evening creep over the town, and we go to Ben and Jerry's and have ice cream for supper.


      We drive over Smugglers Notch. A long time ago, I went through this place, and it stayed in my heart ever since. You can feel it, you can picture it in your mind, this wild, boulder strewn mountain. Desperate men sliding through the boulders, hiding among them, bringing goods down from Canada, risking their lives, thumbing their noses at a government that is letting the people starve.
       All through the glorious October hills, over the October roads, over state lines, along rivers, past covered bridges, past farms and sugar houses, through many towns. We talked of years, and people and places, and we laughed and cried, and we were sister and brother for ever and always.

       A rainbow. A promise. forever and always.