The smell of memory

Katie Klingsporn

Sunday in the high desert, and quintessentially November out here. The leaves, long faded and fallen, gather in messy heaps along the trail, awaiting their winter burial. A thin crust of snow clings to shady spots in the draw and the lee side of stones. The wind is absent, and aside from the occasional rustling of a junco through scrub oak branches, a deep stillness settles over the landscape. The quiet out here is audible.

The seasons are prolonging their handoff this year. Fall hasn’t relented, I can feel it in the warmth of the midday sun as it hits the slab of conglomerate we’ve stopped to rest on. Winter, meanwhile, is taking its time, teasing us with frosty mornings and small storms, but holding back the brunt of its force. The landscape, meanwhile, dons the uniform of the in-between season, a tableau of taupes and pewters, buffs, umbers, tans…

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