Skip to main content

Just a wee bit chilly

Lead Summary

HCP columnist

I am sitting on the side deck. No doubt about it. I am a bit cold, but I do not want to move. The sun is shining down between the clouds, warming the black fur of the dog that sits by my side, and it occurs to me that it is good to wear black on a chilly fall day.

The leaves rustle in the trees, and when the wind picks up just a bit, they fall in a flurry to the creek valley ground. I look up and see that the wind turbine has started to slowly turn. As I watch, it picks up speed and then begins to hum. Our batteries are fully charged with the sun and wind.

I turn my head to the left as I hear the flapping and snapping of the laundry that I hung out on the line after breakfast. I wonder if it is dry, but I do not want to move, not yet. I feel that I have somehow melted into my spot in the sun.

And then, from the right, I hear the song of the wind chimes that hang from the sugar shed porch. Their five-note tune vies for my attention with the solitary chime I hung out in front of the cabin by the herb bed.

The picnic table umbrella joins in the song, and begins to creak in the wind. Perhaps I should crank it down, but perhaps not. We may still eat dinner under its cover this evening.

And then the wind settles down. It is quiet except for the chortle of the pigeons in their gazebo coop, and I start to stand up to check on the laundry, but just as I do, the wind picks up again and begins to blow across the top of the creek valley. I stay still and listen to the rustle of the leaves high on the hill behind the cabin.

[[In-content Ad]]I look across the valley, and I can see that the tree branches are swaying on the crest of the far hillside across the creek, but there is not a trace of wind in the valley.

I watch and listen, and as I sit, still, the most amazing thing happens.

I look up and see a swirl of leaves start to dance across the valley’s ridge, blowing from west to east, high above the valley and out toward the creek. All stays still down here below, but as I watch, amazed, the wind carries the leaves, whirling and swirling, rising and falling, in a leaf cloud ever so high above my head.

I begin to wonder if this curious cloud will make it all the way across the valley to the other side, but as I watch, I can see and hear that the wind is dying down.

The swirling leaves seem to stutter and stall, about half-way across the valley, and then they start to flutter and fall, making their way down to the creek, out of my sight, just beyond the trees of the upper field.

When the last leaf is out of sight, I still do not move. I remain sitting outside on the side deck, watching and listening, and it occurs to me, as a cloud passes in front of the sun, that I might be in denial.

A chill brushes across the back of my neck, and I think that I really should put on a warm fall jacket, and perhaps even dig out a pair of gloves, but I am not quite ready to let go of summer’s sunshine.

The sun comes back out from behind the cloud and my dog lies down and stretches out to better soak up its warmth. I settle back into my chair. Just as the swirling cloud of leaves was not quite ready to fall to the ground, I think that I will enjoy one last afternoon sitting on the side deck, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine, even if it is just a wee bit chilly. 

Christine Tailer is an attorney who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at

Add new comment

This is not for publication.
This is not for publication.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it. Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.