November is here; a month the color of ghosts. Vibrant gold ginko leaves, silver strands of grass, the improbable red of ornamental maples, as incandescent as maraschino cherries. All these remnants of life lived this summer, the sum of preceding summers brought forward in thick roots and pulsing inner channels – sap, bark and woody pulp. Not empty husks, these ghosts – but brilliant infernos of nourishment and light that have ebbed away.
I have to start something over, just when all the world is drawing in on itself to rest. Start over with home. Start over with love. Start from up here in the windiest branches, clinging like a leaf that wouldn’t shake loose, where another species of ghosts blow frosty, invisible currents. These slender limbs are connected to the roots – but those anchors feel very far away.
You understand, don’t you? I let myself hope for things I know are beyond my grasp. For love and desire. For a home. Hope even for those things, together. All those brilliant colors, the last remnants of what I wanted to find, something I mislaid summers and summers ago. But you can’t add the leaves back to the trees, and you can’t cling to the wind-lashed branches, waiting to fly. You have to climb down. Go deeper into the woods. Gather kindling, and light a fire – and start to sing the song the ghosts taught you, calling your companions.