Saturdays are for longer miles, and the weather this weekend made it possible to feel like I could run for miles. The sun warmed my skin when the breeze wasn’t cooling it. Along a portion of the river trail, I ran the length of the Coosa Valley Fair. I smelled kettle corn and heard children laughing. It took me longer than usual because I kept stopping, trying to capture the dance of the leaves in the wind.
Mondays are for “recovering,” from Saturday. Slow slow slow. I love Mondays for this reason. I never have trouble hitting my paces on Mondays. During the last two miles, I stopped along a bridge that crosses a stream just to see how the shadows were falling, how the leavers along the ridge began to change into their fall wardrobes.
After track, which is Tuesday’s workout, I cooled down with a lap through campus. I’ve been meaning to snap a shot of this tree for a week now, because it is so brazenly changing into fall while its neighbors cling to their evergreen. I like to call it the Outlier or the showoff. This flashy broad makes me smile. After my workout and before my shower, I walked our recycleables to the giant bin on campus, taking a short cut through the field that serves as a garden space for a club. The corn, which had dried before maturing (drought) had been mown down, the yellow leaves of untended, undergrown cabbages had been plowed under. But a small patch of white puffs caught my eye. My daughter told me that last week in History class, the teacher handed out cotton plants and had the students pluck the seeds from the fibers while they discussed whatever it was they discussed. She said it was their best class ever, finding something soothing in the repetitive search for seeds, her fingers busy separating hard from soft. I plucked a boll and brought it home. I don’t know that I’ve even seen raw cotton before, but having spent so much time sewing, knitting and in various other textile pursuits, there was a kind of rustic appeal, a throwback gesture, a respect for the process of making fabric from fibers that spurred my imagination.