All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day
-California Dreamin', John Phillips & Michelle Phillips
The leaves are brown, the sky is cool, cool grey.
The first glimpses of winter are on their own dark way.
It wasn't long ago when the soft, warm hues of autumn ruled the horizons, fields and forests. Those rolling hills are still touched with the gentle gold-green casts of my favorite season, as farmers work from dawn into dark to bring the harvest home.
Now it's nearly over.
And almost time for the last bright days of summertime color.
Almost time for the soft glowing afternoons of autumn change
Almost time for the icy wintertime grip that promises to hold until March and beyond.
Late at night, I step outside.
I stop. I listen as the first frigid breezes of a long winter's night brush across my frosty cheek.
Further and further away, I hear the yowl of a neighboring cat; the distant howl of some countryside coyote; the far-off yip of a wandering fox.
Closer now, I hear the steamy laughter of children as they await bedtime baths and books and a warm night's sleep. I hear the sound of deep, sweet dreams, of slow, soft breathing from evening until dawn.
And with it arrives the long-awaited chilly burst of tiny sunrise explosions, glancing and grazing across rooftops towards my bedroom window. I lie back again, then lean forward to breath deep and look again and again.
Safe and warm, I wait for rushing footsteps and little-boy laughter, sliding under quilts and covers for a breakfast made for two.
By the time they leave, the sun is full risen.
The wind blows.
The day is full born.
On such a November day.