|I snapped this photo with my phone as I walked through Fore River Sanctuary here in Portland, Maine.|
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
If I could be anywhere at any time, it would be right here and now, in October, near the ocean, on a path through salt marshes just before sunset. A great blue heron stands sentry beside the footbridge, still in the shallows. My legs brush against wild asters and the skeletons of Queen Anne's lace as I make my way. A rush of wind brings the scent of salt and rotting leaves, which I think should make me feel sad or old or melancholy, but it doesn't. Instead, every autumn of my life is with me all at once, making the trail suddenly both familiar and new, as if I've never walked it before, but could find my way just by the sound of goldfinches flying from tree to tree along its edge. Up ahead is the old stump where I will turn back, follow this same way back to the trailhead. The same grasses, the same reeds, the same stones and leaves, yet nothing will look the same. I will be older by seconds, by minutes, by strides; I will see everything from another side.