Oh what a dreary ugly day it is.
It is dark and overcast and very windy. It is ALWAYS windy where I live so it’s only noteworthy to mention when the wind is ferrous and howling, as it is right now. I have seven cottonwood trees in the backyard and the wind is knocking the yellowed leaves off faster than I can rake them up. I decided to let nature take her course and let all the leaves fall that will in this storm.
I know the path the leaves will take as they always do the same thing. The wind blows north—always north—even the trees grow bent, sometimes almost horizontal, due to the constant wind. The northern winds blow the leaves up against the fence and a 20 foot long, 5 foot tall pile of leaves form. They sit there waiting for me to pick them up. I vacuum them up with a leaf blower reversed. A convenient tool to have as the leaves are mulched at the same time and raking is futile, as I mentioned, it is always windy.
The sun is completely gone from view even though it is midday. I know it is burning bright somewhere but not here. It is completely eclipsed by ominous grey and black rain clouds. The wild quail are hunkered down, as low to the ground as they can get.
From a distance, if you squint, they appear to be rocks.
The ravens (not to be confused with crows) are behaving just as Edgar Allen Poe must have envisioned—they are sitting on the stack of firewood, just above the quail and waiting…to pounce…on a baby quail, or the squirrel that is hiding under the wood, the rabbit that is hiding close to the quail or some other menu item.
They are huge and so black they look blue in the sunlight. They are menacing. They are so big you can hear their wings flapping. They like to fly against the wind and float, effortlessly it seems. With no need to flap their wings they hover soundless in the wind; for as long as it entertains them.
Inside, as I sit here staring out the window, it occurs to me that my mood—or my emotions—are being replicated by Mother Nature outside. The soundtrack outside is the banging of something loose against the house, the wind chimes clanging in angry protest to the abusive winds and the cracking of branches off the trees.
Inside there is no noise but the ticking of a grandmother clock my grandmother brought with her from her home country a million years ago.
This clock has kept track of the passage of time all of my life. It hung in her house, then my mother’s house and now mine.
I imagine it will hang in my daughter’s home one day. It is an heirloom after all. It continues to mark the passage of time and is still very accurate even though it is over 100 years old.
It is a curious juxtaposition of inside/outside; the clock tick-tick-ticking and the ravens floating outside. Life and emotions… have I found myself inside an Edgar Allen Poe’s draft or maybe an updated version of…