On light, or what’s left of it.

This is a hard time of year. I’m not a pumpkin-spice-latte person, though I do appreciate the return of baking season. But mostly, I struggle with the loss of light.

There’s a kind of subclinical SAD that reaches a lot of us in Northern climes, and that and the fear of shoveling give fall its bitter aftertaste. For some of us, of course, our reluctance to move on is also about the failure of summer: have we had our fill? Can we ever really have our fill?

The cold is not the issue for me, at least not until the threat of frostbite. So on the brightest days, these last golden moments, I make a point of walking. I schedule meetings at far-flung corners of campus and I wear my comfortable boots. I decline, sometimes repeatedly, kind offers of a ride.

One particular path takes me across the footbridge above Beebe Lake and its waterfall and gorge, and I swear to you there are poems floating up in the spray:

“Where the lake, so hard,
Approaches its edge and falls,
It is rinsed in light.”

We think of fall as bringing darkness, but maybe it just gives the light more play. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

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