The inside of darkness is like a thief continuing to encroach upon our sun-time, October’s riotous display, only the faintest of memories.

Leaves from scarlet maples, burgundy pear trees, buttery tulip trees have already gorged December’s appetite, their remnants lining curbs, imprinting sidewalks with outlines, and lodging corners of gutters. Winds swipe footpaths strewn with twisted branches, split stems, graying fragments, crushed acorns, even gumballs. Overhead, hag-like pin oaks frame the darkening world with specter arms.

An eerie stillness companions this loss of color. An unseen power plummets us within this darkening, replete with life-lessons, if we’ve the will to befriend it.

We seek footholds: its port-wine richness intrigues us; its lavender essence intoxicates us; its velvety embrace soothes us; its subtle shades challenge us; and its haunting music transports us to other realms.

We listen, deeply. Solemnity stirs deep thoughts like chanting monks in hushed monasteries.

We wait for direction beneath tonight’s gibbous waxing moon.