Today was of such a nostalgic peacefulness that I feel I should remark upon it. The dead, dry air of the past weeks dispersed last night amid jagged bolts of distant lightning and by morning the cool Washington weather had made itself known once again. I woke this morning, like I woke every morning of my high school years and have not since in my college years, to dreary rain blanketing Vashon island and the gray arm of water between its shores and our own. No trace of Summer’s brilliant blue skies or burning Sun could be seen; there was only the white fog moving across both water and land, snagging like soft wool on the tops of the cedar trees. It was a morning from my childhood, painfully absent in my current location and recaptured only on these rare sojourns back to my true home.

The fragile mirage of Winter lasted the day, not evaporating away before the might of August like I feared it might. It rained, and continued to rain, and fogged, and continued to fog. I cleaned my half-abandoned room in a poor effort to restore it to its former glory, as a clean room is always of some odd comfort. I lit candles which melted the air into golden ribbons and dusted it with the scent of vanilla. I wrapped myself in blankets soft as rabbit fur and napped with warm, purring cats. The day passed in this way, quiet, sweet, and the Sun set early behind dark rain clouds. Now as I sit my room is of honeyed light and gentle silence and very much like all those Winter nights I spent in here as a child and which of late I have been aching for and needing to calm my stormy Autumn soul. True, there are missing pieces which I will never be able to regain, which have slipped from my fingers forever. On a night like this I should smell the scent of homemade stew cooking, drifting up the stairs as good stew-mood music, perhaps Arlo Guthrie or The Irish Rovers, plays softly from the living room. In a few moments my father should yell up the stairs to me, whistling and calling “Miss Elyssie” down to dinner. These are the things from my childhood, however recent they must actually have been, which I shall never have back. Still, I reclaimed a small fragment of this Winter night soul of mine today and tonight, warm in my home as the world outside falls to peaceful slumbering.

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