This morning Posted on November 11, 2010

By the pond

There was frost first thing, but after breakfast the temperature and the wind both started rising. The sheltering trees started to sigh, then hiss. The last yellow leaves parted from high branches and flew about the garden like bewildered birds. By the cascade, though, cupped in a hollow and protected by evergreens, the only movement was the steady tinkle of water into the shining pond and the arrival, fluttering to earth, of leaves from distant trees.

The cascade has two falls ; the first a mere forearm deep, pouring no faster than wine from a bottle into a little rocky trough. It slithers, then, down a twisting channel in the limestone to a beak of rock that parts it into two gleaming dribbles, to fall from shoulder height between mossy boulders. Two splashy sounds, therefore, in counterpoint.

The pond is crystal clear this morning, floored with the maple leaves that sift down to form a bright mosaic on the bottom. Yellow hosta leaves have melted over a rock into the mirror beside reflected ferns. A willow with leaves as fine as rosemary trails in the water. Drops condensing on the branches high above land portentously in crystal rings that overlap and merge and disappear before they reach the bank. How self-contained and secret this pond life seems ; how removed from the gusts shaking the real world. 

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