It is a night for the first fire. I feel like I am in the O'Henry short story where the last five leaves on the tree are watched. I am waiting for the first one to fall.
I am reading John Haines, The Stars, The Snow, The Fire. There is a wonderful chapter on Ice, with amazing descriptions of form, solidity, flow. In the last paragraph, Haines describes a place he finds where the light snow has blown away, the ice is polished and "thick enough to stand on so I can see to the bottom without difficulty, as through heavy, dark glass."
"I bend over, looking at the debris, caught there in the clear, black depths of the ice: I see a few small sticks, and many leaves. There are alder leaves, roughly toothed and still half green; the more delicate birch leaves and aspen leaves, the big smooth poplar leaves, and narrow leaves from the willows. They are massed or scattered, as they fell quietly or as the wind blew them into the freezing water. Some of them are still fresh in color, glowing yellow and orange; others are mottled gray and brown. A few older leaves lie sunken and black on the silty bottom. Here and there a pebble of quartz is gleaming. But nothing moves there. It is a still, cold world, something like night, with its own fixed planets and stars."
May you enjoy this evening, beckoning the cold dark, days of winter. It is time to plant my narcissus and welcome their scented white blooms to light, like candles, the night.