It’s raining acorns. Last year I thought the sound was squirrels, harrying the leaves. The sounds were scattered though, in space and time. That should have been a clue, but I was too much a novice to connect the acorns strewn across our driveway with the noises in the woods.
Up here, the men and women I encounter keep nature in their back pockets; they carry it in their purses, rattling amongst their keys and cell phones and grocery lists. They marvel at it, but it’s a knowing marvel, without the veneer of ecstasy week-enders require.
I used to be one—a week-ender—not up here, but it’s all the same. The first year, I took pictures of sunsets. Lots and lots of sunsets, and not one of them came close to what I saw. I learned I can’t fit them in a frame: I have to be there. I vow, as the light begins to close in early, that I’ll get up from my desk in time to look.
When I was a child, the prairie reigned next to the subdivision where we lived. I‘d climb a tree and sit for hours, on the look-out for pheasants in the grass. But in the end I wanted city, so I moved to one. The city seemed to be my natural home.
I live in the country now—by happenstance, not by design. I’ve insisted on home delivery of the Times. I’m straddling two places, but I wonder if I’m tipping toward the other side of the divide.
Soon our driveway will be awash in leaves. Not oak leaves—I'm told they can cling to their branches until spring. I’ll have to look for that, but for now, I know I’ll find maple leaves—high waves of them, cresting at the curb.
It’s raining acorns again. I’ve stopped my weekend subscription to the Times. Too much time behind a paper, I decided. I have to be out there, looking. I don’t want to miss the return of wild turkeys to our yard.