Wednesday, October 14, 2015

small town witch

This morning I woke up early, 6am, and lay happily curled and cozy warm under the covers there in the dark of the guest room at my parents' house. Eventually I got up, ran a comb through my hair, threw on yesterday's clothes and my Aunt Ellen's hand-me-down red clogs and ventured out through the back garden for a walk to the store so that I could get milk for my morning tea.

The world outside smelled of woodsmoke and rotting apples, and chestnut casings crinkled and snapped underfoot. It was cold still, and I could see my breath exhaling in wisps under the streetlights, intermittent as they are here in this funny little town. I know I keep harping on the sky here after so many years of being surrounded by tall buildings, but this morning it was spectacular in its simplicity, in its metamorphosis from the dark of just before dawn to the rosy glowing warmth of just after.

A clutch of children startled at one point as I strode by in the half-light, and I myself startled at their startled look. It was then I looked down at this morning's particular and peculiar get-up: my very tall mother's ankle-length black dress (a mishap with glue during an art class the previous night having rendered my own skirt un-presentable), my favorite black sweater, my aunt's red clogs, my bright red hair, and I couldn't help but feel momentarily -- caught as I was in between shadows and the light -- like a modern day incarnation of the wicked witch of the west. It is October after all, and who knows what might find itself wandering the streets and byways early of a morning before the sun is fully up.

This made me smile the rest of the way to the grocery store, where a lovely cashier rang me up on someone else's club card to get the sale price, and the someone else was pleased to get the extra gas points on his card, which of course I don't need. 

Such is life in a small town, I suppose, saturated in apples and smoke and sky. It's not such a bad place to live.