This morning, on my daily walk with dogs, I glimpsed a flash of orange on the trail ahead–a handsome fox, flame-colored against the rain-soaked leaves. I’ve never seen a red fox here before. You can live in a place for years and not comprehend the fullness of it.
After days of rain, the woods are rich with decay, strewn with mushrooms performing their silent alchemical work. Spring and summer are verdant and bright, but it’s the magic of autumn that sings to some deep, quiet place in my soul.
The first chill, overcast day has arrived. These are the days–clouds swirling, crows calling, rain threatening over the Alleghenies–when mine is the soul of a wild goose, wings dark against the sky. The road beckons. Light gleams from the windows of the hobbit-hole at my back, and though the comforts of home are sweet in these shortening days, my feet itch.
At thirty-eight, I am just beginning to indulge my wanderlust once again. A few weeks ago, I flew to Wisconsin. Next weekend, I will travel to Buffalo. I am making time for adventure, for the first time in my adult life. I can feel my wings growing stronger even as my roots sink deeper into the red clay of this Virginia hillside.
Winter will be for hibernation. But autumn is for adventure, whether grand or quiet. The start of this month is a new beginning. I am wading through the morass of rejection, gleaning the gems it has left in the muck. I have a novel to finish, and a revision to begin. My story has met with what I am thinking of as encouraging rejection–feedback, suggestions, offers to read more. It is an October story, and so I will return to it this month. I will make it better. It has been composting among the leaf-mould of my imagination, and it’s time to see what strange and wondrous shapes will sprout from that dark soil, blossoming pale among the shadows of the forest.
It is October.
Time for magic.