The redwoods sway outside of the window, loud as the wind weaves through their branches. Like a braid, whistling and tangled. The air is so fed up with stillness. The house clutches the last moments of summer’s stagnation to its breast, the wood creaks and rattles, but it has no choice. October is almost over and it’s not leaving without taking what it came for.
It’s late, the bedroom light is dimmed and I still have chalk on my cheek. The skin on my nose is dried from autumn in the Sierra. My eyes cried earlier, a reaction to wind and sun, and now their veins are prominent and full of visible blood. The day was one of exposure. I climb higher. The wind is not pleased up here. My hair whips my face and my jacket puffs and flutters like a sail. Approaching me is a whirlpool of leaves, golden reds and caramels. I close my eyes and cling to the rock as the outskirts of the tornado touches me. Then it starts to consume. I am in the eye of a gust: of dirt, dead and without purpose, wind that sounds like a ghost, lifeless leaves and needles that the pine gave away. It is strong and begs me to let go. This time I give in. I release my grip on the rock, fanning my fingers open and the tornado of things that no longer serve carries me up, higher and without stopping, I look at the bluest sky. I spin and somersault. As I reach the top of the cliff I am set down, let go of, I stand at the peak. My hair looks electrocuted, eyes are half open and water fills the lower lids. The whirl leaves, cycloning off into the horizon.
Last night, a dim dinner: sore and hungry, directionless and hardly employed I say these words: there is nowhere I would rather be right now. Oh how I mean it, oh how the words feel leaving my mouth, oh how we smile, how we nod.