Late Autumn Visit to an Old New England Home

The quaint New England village

in mid-October.

Antique shops, country stores.

White-steepled churches

set against the backdrop

of fall’s spectacular display

of crimson and gold foliage.

And the old New England home.

Her porch adorned with cornstalks and pumpkins.

Her flowerbeds full of yellow and rust-colored mums.

Arrogantly she stands.

She knows her admirers.

How they delight in her unassuming


So simple.



She leaves her admirers to wonder

whether she is listed in the registry

of historic homes.

No one

not even she

acknowledges that her charms will fade

with the dropping of the leaves.


Be patient.

Wait a bit.

Four weeks perhaps.

Then visit again.

This time

go on in.

Meet her.

Push open the door that doesn’t quite want to give.

She’s not easy, you know.

Hear the creak of the plank floor as you step inside.

Smell the mothballs

and the scent of doorknobs

touched too many times

by so many hands

that the odor

that’s permeated their surfaces

can never be removed.

Smell the faint aroma

of dried out pot roasts

from dinners that stole away days.

Feel the lifeless still

of 4:00

on a Sunday afternoon

in November.

Sit in the chair by the window

and see the world

from that filmy view.

The gray sky.

The skeleton trees.

Now, turn your gaze back inside

and watch the dust


in the late autumn sun

that streaks tauntingly through the glass.

And watch

as a single particle

settles itself atop one of the many knickknacks

that sits lazily

upon the mantel.

Hear the clock.

Each tick

reminding you

of how very long

a day can be.

In the sickening stillness

feel the unbearable loneliness.

Catch your breath.

Breathe in deeply.

Push the air past

the knot

in your throat.

As you sit, feel the house.

The weight

of her past.

So close, really.

What’s 200 years?

Certainly not enough time

for the departed

to resign themselves

to their fate.

Seasonal Ambivalence

Seasonal Ambivalence

As August closes, a restlessness manifests itself in the slight, nervous turn of the stomach.  We are aware that we have disappeared into the lightness of warm, languid days, and we begin to question whether the heat has led us astray.  And just as we begin to feel the rumblings of panic over the notion that the mercury has locked us into a constant state of mailaise, our senses heighten at the subtle, nutty fragrance of autumn’s impending arrival.  A sweet, cool breeze dances across our cheeks, and we feel a deep sense of relief knowing that we are still alive. We relish the chill of the fall and eagerly await the arrival of wintertide.

Bird Bath

We welcome the change of season and all the promise that colder air offers those who prefer the honesty of winter’s icy silence.

Up on the Hill

So we retreat indoors to light our fires, read our books and write our papers, all the while enjoying the view as we gaze out our windows to see the crystalline powder gently fall to the ground.

Winter's Table

But some winters-this winter-become too heavy.  The weight of snow and ice and thoughts becomes too burdensome, and we begin to smother in winter’s embrace.


In fact, it renders us nearly lifeless…devoid of energy, creativity, joy.

Winter Sky

But now, the season begins to turn again.  The temperature slowly ascends.  Banks of snow melt to rivers and flow into the sea carrying with them the disappointments of a season, once promising, now tainted with memories of loneliness and regret over opportunities lost.

Brush Under Snow

And as the water recedes,  a new season begins to emerge, but with it a slight sense of forbidding because with the warmth and sunshine comes the expectation for smiles that might not be ready to be formed.