The year is dying off, failing, dropping to sleep. No one wants to swim in the waters of the bay any more. To take a canoe out has become an exercise in survival. It is no longer a summer jaunt where the major preoccupation was sweating too much as we navigated the little rise between lakes. Hypothermia, drowning, memories of the fragile lives of pioneers, these are suddenly new concerns.
We meet some hunters in a little cafe that looks like something out of Twilight Zone. All but one are dressed in the cheap and hideous camouflage jackets that are the hot feature of Wallmart these days. They tell us the fine for hunting without a license is $600.and confiscation of your gun and truck. They laugh nervously when I ask if the fine is heavier if the judge is a vegetarian. With that question I blow our cover.
” We saw you digging oaks out of the bush.” one says. ” Just harvesting like us, eh?” Depends on how you look at it, I guess. I don’t tell them that we only go to do laps around Wallmart. Well, maybe to pick up one, just one lettuce when everything else is closed.
Safer to drink in the sights, the scents of this turning season. Sleep, decay, death coming.
We transplanted nine oaks into the dark earth, their tawny leaves hanging by a thread. What will we see in Spring, I wonder?