I sit in my father’s old recliner in the corner of the living room at dawn as the sky turns a rosy glow behind the silhouetted mountain alternating with whiteout conditions when the valley fog rises to fill the sky then sinks back down to the tops of the shrouded firs and back up and down and up and down while the copper maple leaves the color of the bottoms of my mother’s old Revere Ware pots let go of life and float downward pausing when a branch momentarily stops their fall as if to say “see you soon” to leaves still pointlessly clinging to life before continuing their inevitable fall to the ground as birds dance limb to limb accompanied by invisible cows bawling in the valley and a vee of geese honking across the pale blueing sky crossing the thin pink stream of a jet flying south; and I sigh in gratitude to be witness to the beauty in this cyclical time of death.
I am a Pacific Northwest native transplanted to the southeast for 36 years. In 2012, I returned to my childhood home and fell in love with this corner of the country again. I am a grandmother, a storywriter, a teacher, an attention payer, a hiker, and a back roads wanderer. Check out my website (and my memoir) at www.gretchenstaebler.com. View all posts by Gretchen Staebler