Each fall I dredge up an old post about autumn and the time I lived in Colorado and re-post it. I can’t help it. This crisp weather that has descended on my little corner of the world catches my breath first thing in the morning. I’ve moved my sweaters from the back of my closet to the front. Every trip outside results in a staccato crunch of leaves under my fee. It all puts me in that reflective fall mood where moments of my past swirl about and meet up with dreams of my future.
Doesn’t it seem like you feel time differently in the fall months? I feel time differently. I find that I sigh a bit more over a hot cup of coffee as I snuggle in front of my gas-powered fireplace. I read slower. I relish a well turned phrase, a grouping of words. My favorite phrase this week comes from a poet whose blog I follow, Elan Mudrow. The poem this last week was entitled Last First Day Back. The line that caused me to pause and smile as I read it was this:
“Coffee appears in an array of costumes.”
Good Lord I love a wonderful turn of phrase in the midst of autumn. The fact that it’s about coffee doesn’t hurt either.
This morning, however, as I stare at the leaves twirling to the ground, blanketing my front yard in an array of yellows I am transported back to my days spent in Silverton, Colorado. The small town of Silverton rested at 9,318 feet and was inundated most summer and autumn days by tourists who took the popular Narrow Gauge railroad from the town of Durango to Silverton. I worked there as a docent at the museum. I loved the town, loved the job, and loved the autumn months the most. Aspen trees hugged the mountain sides and sang in the morning breezes. Smoke swirled toward the mountain peaks that surrounded the town. I had breakfast twice a week at the same run down restaurant, where the Folgers coffee became something I wrote gaudy odes about.
A laundry list of elements add to the memorable moments I look back on with such fondness. The crunch of the dirt road under my feet as I walked to work every day. The fresh air. At such an altitude, the air threatened my lungs with its pureness. Locals laughing and talking together, their voices reverberating off the sides of the mountains in the early hours added to a chorus of die-hard birds who hadn’t yet left for warmer parts. Mountain ranges as far as the eye could see, and color. An explosion of color that was almost blinding.
I was finding myself in that town, in those years. I found my talent for the theater was still intact, I made friends, I found love, I found history, and I found heartache. But more than anything, I found stories. Maybe it was all that fresh air that cleared space in my imagination, but something took hold of me and shot inspiration through my veins.
That’s what gets me in the autumn months. On mornings like this when I watch the lovely dance of falling leaves, I am transported back to a time when inspiration reigned over my life. It itches at my skin and I am tempted to pick up one of the books I wrote while I was there, begin revising it. Give it some oxygen and let life back into a dream from another lifetime I lived.