It astonishes me how the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, till another year is going to come to an end. Time never ceases it seems till you are caught in a situation where you are trapped in a slow train with people around you conversing in another language, you have missed the last bus at a lonely place where the ocean batters the cliffs, or better still, you are sleeping in an unreserved train compartment with batty coppers and convicts for company. And here’s time sprouting wings, so that autumn’s been too brief a spell. Sparse brown leaves cling to the branches in the park, loathe to leave just yet, dangling in the cold wind like earrings turned to a shade of liquid russet in the soft sun. The park cleaning authorities use their leaf blowers daily to collect them in piles, so that even as they go about their job, I cannot help admiring this pretty spectacle that it makes. A whirligig of golden butterflies in the air.
This is my cheeky last paean to autumn even though the wind outside is frigid and every evening walk and morning run involves filling the lungs with icy air. We caught the last legs of the season in Central Park last month when the colours in the woods had already peaked and there were yellow, oranges and reds in dribs and drabs. When we met an introvert Great Bernese, a big beautiful girl who warned Adi off with a couple of woofs. So that now I can tease my husband in the same vein as he takes off on me. Last summer in Vermont, a golden retriever with the face of a (chubby) angel and the mien of a shrew, had flown at me when I wanted to say hello. Adi has not stopped reminding me of this dark incident since with unseemly glee, saying, ‘You are possibly the only girl who has been almost attacked by a golden retriever.’
These little pleasures have been cemented by biggish birthday pleasures of a sparkler-laden cake turning up at a French restaurant which is an institution of sorts in NYC, where the food made the senses hum with quiet joy; celebrating a new holiday for us (Thanksgiving); meeting a former colleague in the city and going on walks in the tenements of Lower Manhattan where we wondered at the eccentric workings of an artist who bought a synagogue when he had merely stepped out to buy shoes; spotting migratory birds such as a Great Black-Backed Gull by the Hudson; and having my scalp almost lifted one freezing morning by a mob of gulls who were being fed by an old man (because apparently wild creatures cannot continue their cycle of life without our nosiness). That’s all in my tangled web of recollections, and oh, some portly squirrels at work too.