It is full on autumn outside. When I woke this morning, I thought it was raining. I listened harder and realized the sound I heard was wind rushing through trees. The morning was dark and spooky with that howling wind. As late October should be.
Before sunrise was the warmest part of the day. By my lunch break, I was shivering in my office. I microwaved leftover casserole — butternut squash and caramelized onion with sage breadcrumbs — so I’d have something warm to eat.
In one day, the oak’s leaves turned. Yesterday they were green; today the whole tree is leathery brown. I watched its branches dip and sway while I blew on my lunch so as not to burn my tongue. Wind plucked the oak’s leaves, lifted them on invisible currents, and then they fluttered to the ground. Tufted titmice darted from limbs to the swinging bird feeder and back into the leafy limbs again.
The ornamental grasses are all in flower, their grain wheat brown and soft rust in the late afternoon light. I sit by the window in my sweater and slippers and I watch their feathery flowered tips dip and wave. Golden light seeps through the crack between the earth and a low blanket of grey clouds. The grass tassles catch it and shine like lanterns for the briefest of moments before the light is gone. It paints the bottom of the clouds orange, then pink, and then the day is done.