It is evening. The light is getting shorter day by day, and I must treasure it while I can. I come home an hour earlier than normal, and see that my dog, Togo, is absolutely dying for me to take him for a walk. I oblige, thinking if I sneak off quietly enough, I can enjoy this walk just between Togo and myself. I grab Togo's ultra heavyweight leash, snap it on, and off we go down the long driveway. Togo is lunging and sniffing at everything; I keep him away from the chickens, much as I know he'd love a good poultry dinner.
We are headed north on the road, past the creek and to the field on the other side. I hear the creek as we walk by; it is still rushing by full of the recent heavy rains. I hear a noise behind us; I turn to see Calvin on his bike, racing towards us; I was not quiet enough, but I don't mind his company. Then I see The Hermit coming up the road in our Sport Honda; he is making a beer and sunset watching run to Sturgeon Lake.
We turn onto a drive that leads us into the field north of the creek. As soon as we are into the hayfield, I release Togo's leash and he is off running, happy to be free of the chain. Calvin follows him, off his bike, running and jumping and laughing as Togo runs circles around him. They make a pair, those two, jumping and laughing and running like the wind.
I turn my gaze across the creek. The low afternoon sunlight is turning the tamarack woods a brilliant gold. Gold of tamarack meets dark green and uplifting outline of white pine, straight and conical outline of spruce, all bathed in a mystical golden light. The sky is crystal blue, the blue only found in late fall when the nights get crisp and cold. Crystal blue meets gold meets forest green. I lose my breath for one moment.
(At this point I really, really wish I had that digital camera in my hands right now. One more week!)
Dog and boy come running back to me. Dog, happy to have had his moment of freedom, does not move as I snap the leash back on. Slowly we come back, through the field, across the creek, down the road. Starflower is now pedaling towards us on her bike. She found out our secret. We make our way up the driveway, past the pond, past the chickens, into our home place.
Later, The Hermit drives in with a 30 pack of the gold, bubbly stuff. He tells me of the awesome angle of the light, how beautiful Sturgeon Lake looked all surrounded by the gold and russet and empty cabins and beached boats. I imagine the indigo colored water under an early evening sky. We saw the same wonderful thing, just in slightly different ways. Somehow tonight seems less mundane.