October has grabbed Autumn by the throat and shaken her back and forth, leaving her limp and leafless. For weeks we enjoyed apple-crisp days of unmarred blue skies, sunshine and stillness. The leaves turned slowly, illuminating every grove, and as slowly fell, puddling around the trees' feet in fluffy rings. Now, after a week of October's Mr Hyde face, the leaves are scattered and still whirling, leaving bare branches against a grey sky. The dangling, manic doubloons of the ash trees whirl madly, at the end of their wits. Birds whistle and call to each other, "Escape! Escape!" and fly south. There's been ice twice in the frosty mornings, and while the fog has gone, the grey has settled, leaving everything feeling damp and drizzled.
I feel a bit damp and drizzled myself, still caught in the phlegmy clutches of this cold. I'm grateful that it's not the kind of cold that settles in the head, stopping my nose and breath...this one is gravelled in my throat. It's had me down for the count most of the day, drowsing under blankets and slurping chicken soup. I feel tired and slow and stupid, wrapped in cotton wool. Reading Pope Joan and doing crossword puzzles when I feel lucid enough, otherwise it feels right to let this illness burn its way out at its own pace instead of trying to hurry it. We don't have much planned for this weekend; that helps.
There are 3 perfect green globe artichokes in the refrigerator. The fat-bellied buddha of a spaghetti squash sits benignly on the kitchen counter. The kids are whirling like dervishes in the middle of the living room. I can hear Anders opening the bathroom cabinet. It would be quiet except for the constant commentary the kids narrate their every action with. They are living soundtracks of their own lives. They're whirling with their hands up, with their hands out, with their hands down. They only whirl in one direction; right. Do we always twirl in the direction of our dominant hands? I would get up and whirl to test my theory and see if I whirl leftwards, but am afraid of falling down with this artificially-cold-medicine-emptied head. The kids are making me dizzy.