I drive home from Minnesota, where I’ve been visiting an old friend, helping him on the house he’s building deep in the forest, two miles up an unmaintained track. We work on the roof, and every so often I pause to take in the view of Lake Superior. The shore is miles away, but the lake is vast in an oceanic way, the horizon line where water meets sky feels like the end of something too big to fathom. We move fast and accomplish much, and I leave satisfied, ready for the long ride home, straight across the middle of America, where grain grows right to the edges of interstate and big trucks accompany me through the night.
Back home the leaves are mostly down. The streams run low and quiet. The cows graze the last grass. Everything seems to hang in the balance, suspended between seasons, the gentle one that’s soon to pass, and the harder one that’s soon to come. I try not to think about it much. Today I’ll go outside, run some fence, help my son change over his summer tires for winters. There’s no snow in the forecast. But it’s good to be prepared.