When I wonder why I tolerate unfriendly Bostonians, the atrocious traffic, the lack of joie de vivre here and the long, austere winters, all I have to do is live through another autumn to understand it all.
My New England ghosts talk to me in the autumn. They live in the stillness, the blazing foliage, the dry chill, the first frost, the empty, wind-swept beach. They are serious ghosts, and beautiful, and they draw me with a spirit that meets and matches my own melancholic nature, full of the awareness of mortality but deeply loving the world nevertheless. When I take my first crunch of Macintosh apple, they hang over my right shoulder and smile, and remember. They love the subdued festival that is a pumpkin on the front porch. That's their idea of a party. They wrap around me in my cozy bed as I read by candlelight, the cat snuggled by my side while the mice get cold enough outside to plan an invasion. I hear them sighing in the opening of the chimney flue. They pad around the empty parsonage at night, fussing around cracks in the floors and windows and checking locks. They like me to make cornbread, even though I never eat it.
I don't really know what my ghosts are saying or what they want from me, I just know that they want me here.
They keep me company in invisibility.
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