by cheri block
Tonight, as is customary during our fall months– before winter’s chill hovers and then settles into the meadow, silencing the fall breezes that blow ten-thousand leaves off the sycamore trees– the crickets grate a syncopated tune with their wings.
The skies darken earlier. The earth makes her way toward the distant points on the ecliptic. The squirrels living on the Rancho work around the clock, furtively collecting walnuts from our trees and boldly raiding my bird-feeders for sunflower seeds and grain.
The gophers too, seem restless underground in their darkened tunnels, so they surface on our lawn each night, leaving mounds of fresh dirt, some filled with squirming worms.
It was only a week ago that we were in Quebec City, the provincial capital of Quebec.
How long ago those images seem to me. I, like the crickets, the squirrels, and the gophers have been busily tending to necessities. The animals need attention and grooming; the plants need fertilizer and weeding; the basement needs rearranging, the library needs organization, the pantry needs culling.
Ahhh! The complications of modern life that tear us from our buoys, sending us out into a sea of responsibility.
My mind travels back only a week, to the gorgeous land that is Quebec.
The street pauses in surprise.
The Grand Dame of Quebec City, Hotel Chateau Frontenac, stands at river’s edge, pushing out her bosom, daring suitors to challenge her role here on the bluff by the Plains of Abraham.