Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Let's amble this Michaelmas...
I arrived at work late today and was forced to park quite far from my building. I haven't seen much of this section of the parking lot and was struck by how rural it was. I could no longer see the large glass and steel box where I spend my waking hours. I pulled my car into a space that gave me a perfect view of a worn wooden gate and stone wall. Beside it was a massive gnarly tree that appeared to be a hundred years old. Its top branches were swaying in the light breeze and I could hear the rustle of leaves just now turning color. I stared at this seemingly bucolic scene and imagined I saw Anne Shirley leaning against the gate being teased by Gilbert Blythe. Or was that Jane Eyre holding Mr. Rochester around the waist as he limped toward Thornfield after Jane frightened his horse? No, I think I saw Elizabeth Bennett with a small brown novel, etched in gold, and Mr. Darcy, a shadow in the background.
Our literary heroines spent a great deal of time outdoors. I think they realized that they were more in touch with themselves when they were in touch with nature. Walks were part of their daily rounds and a form of entertainment. And, since many of my favorite heroines were quite penniless, walking was a blessedly free activity. Great rambling walks were marvelous exercise and a way to blow out the cobwebs and put things right in brains that were often plagued and and provoked by love.
Many of us have had unfufilled seasons, those times that flatly pass, when we are unhappy, grieving, or so busy that we do not realize the calendar has turned the page to the next season. I won't let Fall and the romantic Christian feast of Michaelmas, the season of plenty, to be stolen from me in any way. I intend to ramble the way my literary friends did. I'm not talking about powerwalking but great big ambles across the beaches and into the woods. I will put things right in my head, plan a Fall dinner party, dream a little dream or perhaps I will just pretend that I am walking with Anne and Diana along the Windy Poplars. Will you join me before Michaelmas has passed? I promise we'll sort it all out.