Out the window to the west I can see a dark layer of clouds hanging low in the sky, moving swiftly toward the southeast. Below that appears a brighter layer of clouds, near white and looking like they are going to shed snow at any moment. They aren’t really below the dark clouds, but behind them, but the illusion of a dark and ominous presence above the brightness is still there.
The ground is wet and almost honey-colored, the dried autumn grasses heading into their dormant season in between stands of steel pipe and piles of slag. Alternating yellow boxcars and black-smudged coal cars break the quiet serenity of the scene.
Tonight it will snow, if I am to believe the weather forecaster. My house is not ready for winter. The neighbor’s tree has already shed its broad, yellow leaves, but I haven’t had time to rake them up yet, and a cold, wet storm will not make that any easier. The cherry tree in the front yard is still green, though spotted with a few yellow leaves, while the grapevines along the fence are already frail and brittle, ready to yield to winter’s advance.
There’s an election today, and it seems more a benediction than anything. Maybe it’s just me, but the outcome doesn’t seem like it’s in doubt. And I don’t find myself obsessing over politics like I used to. Perhaps with age I’ve come to realize that no political party or ideology has all the answers, and a single election is highly unlikely to resolve the country’s problems.
But part of me is hopeful. Maybe like the clouds outside, the darkness covering everything is just an illusion, and life goes on in the shadows. The rain has begun outside, and it’s already looking a little slushy, as if the snow will begin in earnest shortly.