Monday, August 31, 2009

one last time…

I know, I know. Move on. No reason to mope. It’s a beautiful day out there.

(remember the first time I took the bike out in April? The trail had no sign of life. One solitary robin would send me spinning! A red bellied bird! Wow!)

Still, as I bike to campus, I get that shocking reminder that the the Fall semester is in full swing.

When you say Wis-con-sin…
You’ve said it all!


Oh, I'm not the only one getting ready for school to start. I've just done it more than the average person on campus. Take this student: how many years of her life has she eased into Fall thinking that this year will be the most perfect of the whole lot of them? Fifteen? Twenty maybe? Okay, multiply that by 2.5 for me...


At the law school, no one is stuck in the season that so clearly is no more. Me, sometimes I pretend I am still drifting out there, lightly, effortlessly, leisurely, but it's not true. My table has stacks of papers, outlines, drafts. I'm not alone. We're all reading, moving forward.


In the later afternoon, I bike to Ed's. I've not done the trip much this summer. No time. When did we play tennis last at our secret tennis playing venue?

Not this time either.

As I round the curve of my most favorite stretch of the bike path, I'm thinking how grand it is that this day should have such a beautiful sky. Because if you're going to be so neglectful of the outdoors as I have been this month, when you do go out, you should do it on an afternoon of perfect sky. Here, in Wisconsin, we have a huge, beautiful sky. That was my thought when I moved here in '79 and I've never changed my mind on that one.

(I've changed my mind on a lot of other things about Wisconsin -- including how "fun" it is to struggle through a cold long winter.)

...against a field of goldenrod, with the occasional puffy cloud overhead. The most beautiful landscape.


Ed helps me fill the tires (I have got to get the bike ready.. One more day and I am in my teaching schedule...).

(For Ed, the change in seasons means that there will be more cool days and less grass to mow. All positives.)

I linger as he shows a local developer various corners of his lot. Ed takes each day as it comes. The developer considers the future of this particular tract of land. Me, I just see the tall grasses and a demanding land, where plants, especially weeds, grow with great vigor and force.


Almost evening now. In the shadows of the trail, I glance up and I see it -- the inevitable encroachment of fall colors.


I bike home quickly. I'm due at the little shop for the evening.

Yes, evening. I need a jacket now. Too cold to just dash out. A sure sign that this is the very last hour of August.