This time of year

Yesterday. 5:30 pm. Running.

Leaves have broken out everywhere, pale green and quarter-sized at this point. The rain this week has brought out the Red Efts, and they parade across the trail, requiring the occasional arabesque from runners with large clumsy feet.

Down by the water the loons calling. If you’ve never heard a loon before, go here. Listen. Now imagine being on the edge of a long narrow lake. There are islands in the lake, but tonight the fog’s moved in, and you can’t see far. All you can see is the shore, and the pale stones beneath the water. From somewhere in the fog comes first one loon’s voice, then another.

Back on the trail, there is no fog. There has been rain though, so the birds are quiet. Not so a porcupine, whining somewhere just off the trail along a stretch of trees brought down by the October snowstorm. A grouse is drumming too, more than one, from alternating sides of the trail.

Further, and a coyote joins the trail ahead, loping along for a short stretch before disappearing off to the side. It’s probably still there as I go by, but I can’t see it. The only way to truly see everything around me would be to stop and sit, and I’m too busy for that.

One last quick look at the lake before heading home. A little less fog here, and the closest island is a palette of greens, the pines so much darker than everything else this time of year. I turn back down the trail, passing everything again, and thinking this is why I live here.

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