Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Falling Down Blue

"Wake up Maggie I think I got something to say to you,
It’s late September and I really should be back at school."
~ Rod Stewart, Maggie May

For the last several days it has rained in Biblical proportions here. Everything is wet and soggy and the deep heat of August has given way to a chilling damp that is more like mid to late September than the end of August. The damp smells like the rot of fall and not the dog days of August. Until the rains it has been quite dry and the Cottonwoods and Aspens had been dropping leaves in the heat. In the gray and damp those fallen leaves look more like autumn foliage now. The look of an early fall is in the air. Of course whether it come early or not, it is coming. Summer will soon dawn it's after Labor Day clothing of browns and reds and russets.

There was grammar school and then high school and then university. It was many years after I had children of my own who were going off to school after Labor Day before I stopped feeling I was supposed to go back to school myself. Each fall had me wandering around the University of Maine at Orono campus in my mind.

Growing up on the east coast of the United States autumn was my favourite time of year. Falls there are more gentle and last longer than here in western Canada. I loved autumn with a passion. I loved the sights and smells of the outdoors. The was an aurora of autumn, a mystique, that hovered over all of New England.

I still love fall but not so much now that I live in the northern part of western Canada. Autumn is short here and too soon gives way to the brutal, killing cold of winter. That dread of winter dampens any enthusiasm for autumn.

Of course that is all a mind state and I recognize it as such. In reality it is my unsettled mind that kills the joy of fall and sends me spiralling into a depression each year.

I have a mind state, I have a picture in my mind of how autumn is supposed to be and I cannot shake it and when it is not that way, as it has not been in many years now, it not only doesn't seem like fall, it also doesn't seem to be right at all.

Fall is for gathering wood to warm oneself in winter. I have no wood stove now and without one I feel naked and fearful against the oncoming onslaught of winter. Anyone who has ever had wood heat can tell you that there is nothing like it and it warms far better than any furnace ever has. But, it was more than that. Having a wood stove was always security against the brutal cold I hate so much. Let the power go out. With a wood stove it didn't matter. Plus, there is the warmth and coziness from wood that a furnace, even one with a guaranteed power supply, cannot match.
But it was more than that which I miss. I do not know how to explain because I hardly know what it is that I am missing.

It was family, perhaps. Having loved ones home and buzzing around the house on a rainy fall, weekend day while a soup was bubbling on the stove or a roast was in the oven.

That is it, I think. Autumn isn't autumn for me without a sense of 'home' and I have not felt like I have had a home in a long time now. My current living situation doesn't afford the luxury of feeling at 'home.' Neither does my current relationship. Time spent with Tess is all too often as cold as deepest winter. No warmth of home, no warmth of a family.

Things being the way they are I doubt I will ever have a 'home' again or even a sense of it. Most of the year I can live with that absence but come each autumn as the leaves drop I fall down blue and spend months shaking loose the grip that the noonday demon has on me.

I know I shouldn't feel so sorry for myself. There are many who have neither home nor hearth and who have it much worse than I. Self pity is a crime of selfishness yet I cannot shake it this time of year.

I simply long for a warm home, it need not be large nor even special in any way. Truth be told a bit rustic would be preferred. A wood stove. Someone to share it with who doesn't yell and scream at me and constantly tell me I am stupid would be nice.  Time shared with someone else who likes to read away a rainy October day.

It is all so hard to explain.

The black dog is barking at my door.

(Originally posted to Multiply August 31, 2008)

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