The bank of tall trees behind the houses opposite is beginning to change colour, as though dusted lightly with some yellow pigment on the outside edges. Not very yellow, and not at all red, just a subdued change-over from dark, healthy green to an end of season ochre. I’ve always liked yellow ochre as a pigment even though, as with most earth colours, it needs to be used pure and fast if it’s not to go muddy under the brush.
The leaves are thinning down and beginning to fall, too, as are those on almost all the deciduous trees around and about. I find a few dried leaves blown into the entrance, trapped for a while before joining the main force that drifts away along the road to the big houses at the end–the ones that can afford regular gardeners to sweep them up.
Dry leaves are fun, individually or in drifts but they lose much of their charm for me when it’s wet, turning from rustly joy to damp, melancholy foot-flattened ghosts of their former selves.
So, as the weeks go by I begin to see the hills behind the trees. It’s an annual cycle, and a good one. That bank of trees is a constant joy to me, home to a colony of grey squirrels that even in the winter come out on sunny days to leap along their highways, branch to branch, tree to tree. One day the woodsmen will come along, inevitable as toothache and they’ll cut the trees back or, worse, remove them altogether. That’ll be sad.
Until then I shall continue, winter and summer, to greet them when I open the blinds of a morning and wish them safe sleep at night. When I venture out in the dark I can hear them whispering quietly hour to hour. When the storm blows I hear them, whispering no more, roaring their songs to the sky.
Good things, trees. If you have trees about you all else seems insignificant.
And so, that about wraps it up for September. One last ‘haiku’ to post and I’ve kept to my intent to write one a day right through the month. I only missed once, so there are twenty-nine of them rather than thirty. Twenty-nine small steps on the way to… somewhere.
I don’t think I’ll be doing more for a while. They are little things, but when they have to be done, the effort can change from joy to burden. It’s been fun, though.
in a turn of the path
a twist of dry leaves–
the smell of autumn
As a note of comfort for the haiku purists, these are not, mostly, true haiku in the classical tradition. It’s more accurate to think of them as undisciplined ‘tercets’, with a touch of zen/haiku flavouring to help the medicine go down.