Baril Lake, just west of Baril Portage – October 10, 2013
Winter has set the forest on fire. The high canopy glows over the evergreen conifers. It explodes in flames above the green branches. Golden-yellow leaves shimmer in the wind and burn like shades of sunlight.
The sun itself flees from the world and races to the south every day as if running from the flames. Birds follow, their long lines stretched across the sky, always pointing across my left shoulder, always toward the sun, always toward warmth.
Dawn stretches into the day. Night carves away the afternoon. I stare at the yellow leaves ringing the water and watch them burn away like a fading memory. I watch the wind snap up handfuls and send them fluttering down, spinning in the air, falling to the water. They float pass the bow, ashes from winter’s fire, but there is no heat, no smoke, only my breath in the air and winter telling me to hurry.