Oct. 21, 2022 — It is Wednesday in Amsterdam, and we are in transit home to Glen Arbor. Yesterday, we saw pictures Hawthorn took after the big wind and rainstorm that ripped through the north. The back of my truck is smashed and undrivable. On Monday night, a huge branch from a 200-year-old oak fell in the heavy wind and smashed the rear headlight of the right side. And then, that afternoon, another branch fell and smashed the left side. It is totaled.
Between the objects, I see the smells of fall. The yellow leaves on the oak limb and the scattered oak and maple leaves pasted to the cement driveway. The wetness. The mud. The dimness. I see fall everywhere. And I sit at this airport gate and look forward to putting on thick heavy clothes and walking the leaf strewn trails around Leelanau. When I left for Scotland, the trees were just starting to change, and now with this storm, I worry that I will miss the sights and smells of a rainy fall.
I have missed so much — cross country meets, the state finals tennis, homecoming and an awards banquet. I can miss that, but my heart really yearns for the smells of the trails with leaves whirling around. Enough of castles, of Edinburgh, of stories of plagues, witches, wars and crown jewels. Of ancient rock walkways. I yearn for the soft wet leafy odorous ground of northern Michigan with decomposing logs oozing with moisture. With little water trails on a well traveled path searching for a gentle entryway to be absorbed into the ground.
I have been away 12 days. The longest in two years. I am ready to be absorbed back into my home — just like that rivulet of rain.