Gray skies hinted snow was on the way. In the morning, a cape of white stretched down to 3,500 feet elevation on distant western mountains. It was a magic show. On the ridge reaching above our walls, a blue-gray haze obscured the wrinkled tan slope. In the orchard surrounding us, repeating the staggered schedule that brought blossoms and leaves earlier in the year, leaves now dropped on a similar itinerary. Peach trees, the first to shed their foliage, exposed a bewitching grove of stark black limbs against emerald grass and cobalt sky. This light-filled breach was my own private theater or dance hall, all the more eerie and magical when a cloud settles on the orchard and tunnels seemed to point off in every direction. All too soon browned scales fluttered from the remaining cover — cherries, apricots, pears, plums, apples. At this time of the year, when the dew sparkled, I called the rutted path through the dale my Vale of Many Colored Glasses.

How strenuous the goal of dwelling in your own heart, keeping peace, radiating from that center can be. How difficult also to know your own landscape and resources, and how to “live at home” and not go to town for stimulation. Or was I simply trying to cover too much ground?

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