A different kind of fall
DALLAS, TEXAS — Cold wind and an unsettled gray sky drew me outside before supper. I headed for a nearby park I’d been wanting to visit, and I kept my jacket tight around me as I walked. I could feel the cold starting to numb my ears and cheeks, and a few stray rainspecks hit my skin.
When I reached the park, I came to a sidewalk that wound past a dirty, shrunken pond. A mockingbird fled into the brush, and four sparrows quickly disappeared. A Black Vulture labored overhead, and of course there were the crows.
As I passed the pond, a canopy of mesquite and a low-growing elm or hackberry stretched over the path. A flock of yellow-rumps moved through the trees, calling, and I heard a chickadee and a kinglet or two.
Small, pale brown leaves covered the ground, and the tortured mesquite trunks twisted and cracked on their upward ascent. Blue cone-berries clung to the cedars, and dark brown, corkscrewed pods littered the ground under a locust. Two trunks grew close, one sprouting strange corky warts and the other deeply furrowed.
I was sheltered from the wind, but my fingers got numb if I took them out of my pockets.
How different this place is from those I grew to love as a child. But this is fall. And this is beautiful.