Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bad Times Pass Good Times Come Again

The aging mind appears to forget things quickly. For instance, I have a vague memory of living in a wind-swept, dessicated inferno called Los Alamos and longing with all my heart to return to Marin County where the green and gentle hills were festooned with wild flowers and the air was sweet with rain.

Then the monsoon season arrived and so did the flowers -- so many varieties, most quite new to me. Small streams bubbled up from the ground. The marauding winds were gone and the wildfires mostly contained. Now it was beautiful in Los Alamos, the morning sun so dazzling in the oxygen-thin air, I sometimes felt as if I'd taken some mind-altering drug which made the world seem more sharply-defined.

We seem to be having, now, a sort of extended summer with temperatures reaching into the sixties. It is October 19th and one can see great swatches of gold amidst the green on the slopes of the Jemez Mountains. The peaks of the distant Sangre de Christo Mountains are already dusted with snow. Outside my apartment building, the locust trees are bright yellow with branches covered in dark, curling seed pods. Pyrocantha bushes are heavy with crimson berries. Some flowers are dying but others, like the sprays of purple aster and roadside samplings of morning glories, live on. People are putting their gardens to bed; young heads bend over homework assignments; the soccer season is in full swing.

I know it gets very cold here, colder than I've experienced in a long, long time. Back in Marin County, we complained if the temperature plunged into the forties. Usually, the winter temperatures ranged between fifty and sixty during the day. Will I become accustomed to avoiding patches of ice set like cunning traps waiting to break my brittle bones? Will I learn to stumble bravely through snow and sludge? Will I be better prepared when the fierce winds come again?

Will my aging mind remember the floral grandeur of late summer? The many-splendored majesty of fall? Here's hoping that I will.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you remember the floral grandeur that we are experiencing right now. Winters here feel so long to me and I forget how beautiful it can be. In the middle of the winter with the snow and ice and cold, I always feel like it's never going to end.
    The picture of the tree that you took is beautiful. Where is it?