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07 October 2000

I had just put the yin music on and was settling in to write this when I heard the first cadences of the band coming down the street.

Homecoming today for the High School. The marching band is very good, and always has been. Mr. Jalowy isn't there anymore-- he must have retired years ago cuz he was there when I was a kid-- but he really knew what a marching band should be, and his legacy seems to live on. They play well and they looked very spiffy in their blue and white uniforms. The floats were a hoot, and the Homecoming Kings and Queens all dressed up and riding in the open cars were... they're such nice kids, and funny, too, for all of being a bit embarassed at having to ride in the parade all dressed up...

Just before my house is where you start picking up a parade audience: the houses come closer together and closer to the road here, as you near town, and folks have only to step out their front doors to enjoy the show. Anyway, the kids'd spot me watching from my front porch and one or the other of them, very self conscious, would try a wave and a big exaggerated smile, feeling silly. I smiled and waved back. Some would wave like Queen Elizabeth, that formal wave where you hold your hand almost straight up and just twist your wrist slightly from side to side, and and I'd wave back the same way, and we'd laugh and then we'd wave at each other normally. Good kids. I'm glad the weather cleared up for their celebration.

It's autumn now. This week it finally settled in. The air grew colder, and there were fogs, and chill rains, and Sweet's Meadow has gone from gold to dull, dusty browns and greens. The leaves are turning now and falling, too. And you can smell the change in the air, and in the water getting ready to turn over...

Last Sunday afternoon when I stopped by the heron's pond, there was only one small maple turned bright orange against the deep greens of the pines at the east end of the pond. On Tuesday afternoon, though, when I pled a non-existant headache and skipped out of work early so I could spend a few minutes thinking my own thoughts in a quiet place on a beautiful warm day, I noticed that all the maples around the heron's pond had turned. It came as quite a shock. Red, orange, and yellow... leaves falling with the breeze, drifting across the water as the sun slipped behind the trees. It didn't seem possible. The air was warm, the grapes smelled delicious, the rag weed bloomed, the sky was summer...

But there were Canada geese guesting with the heron. Ten of them. Resting for a day before resuming their journey south.

I didn't see the heron or any of his family. I wonder if they were packing, getting ready to depart with the geese.

In my kitchen, on the corner of the sink, I have a Bass Ale bottlecap. In it sits a concord grape I brought back with me from my walk last Sunday. It's looking a bit puckered now, that grape. But, in the mornings, when I near the sink, even though the air is chilly, I can still smell summer...


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