Restlessness plagues me today. A kitten attacking my toes or climbing my leg, not a mountain lion stalking me for food, but enough of a distraction I can't seem to settle into anything. Like a kitten, she skitters away when I try to get close enough to put her out or snuggle her into calmness.
The rains are due by this evening. Temperatures have been unseasonably cool. The wind, usually a gentle afternoon companion, has been singing in the chimes and making the branches dance since before dawn. When I step outside I hear her voice whispering secrets in the tops of the firs that line our property.
My heart follows the wind to friends who are suffering today: two whose best friends recently left this life; one whose youngest son's mental illness nearly cost him his life; one whose only sister struggles valiantly with cancer; one whose marriage resists healing regardless of love and effort; one whose own mental illness keeps her imprisoned and unable to claim her own life.
Our bird area is packed with squirrels, ten or more, going about the serious business of fattening up in preparation for long winter days when it's too cold and miserable to leave their nests. The goldfinches have been gone for weeks, the winter siskins not yet arrived. Only chickadees and juncoes remain in large numbers, steady and seasonless residents of our world.
Most of the flowers are tired, with increasingly smaller splashes of color laughing amidst foliage turned brown. Only the wildflowers, planted late, don't seem to realize their season is done. They continue to vibrate life against a broad backdrop of leaves breathing out one last gasp of life into the narrowing hours of light.
The sunlight which has streamed into the house with brilliant golden abandon all summer is muted into the quiet ivory of old lace by celestial rotation and spiders spinning webs against their mortality on the windows.
It's such a potent mixture of life and death, color and pallor, light and dark. Like humanity itself sitting on the edge, with equal measures of all opposites on either side. The balance ready to shift, ready to release the tension, ready to fall into next.
Time to bundle, leash Toby up, and head for the river. Kick through some leaves, exchange kisses with the wind, open my heart to find the message she seeks. If I follow the voice of my restlessness, rather than resist, perhaps she'll offer me wisdom for the winter ahead.
photo by Walt