It’s raining again, but the dog must go out.
“Take my poncho,” he says. And so I do. In the green poncho and green rubber boots I must look like a giant insect, but nobody else wants to be out in the rain, so there is no one around to see me.
The rain is gentle, not a bad time to be outside. With 6 months of belly, I am much slower now. I take a plodding pace and thus have all the more time to look around me.
The light filtered through rainclouds somehow makes everything seem brighter, vivid. There is yarrow shining white as the moon. Scarlet fireweed burns to be noticed in its autumnal glory. Poplar leaves, whose youthful spring green first turned silver with summer leaf-miners, now change again to the yellow of fall. Rosehips glow like Christmas lights. I pluck one and eat the bland yet pleasing flesh.
Drops of rain hang heavy at the ends of long pine needles. It is only since moving north that I have learned to remember which is a spruce tree and which is pine. Now even my toddler can tell a spruce cone from a pinecone.
I take hold of a spruce branch and create a rainstorm of my own. I put my thumb out to touch a droplet suspended from a pine needle and of course it finds me irresistable. The droplet rests there on the pad of my thumb, a bright bead. When I put my finger down to it, I can hold it up, stretch it, see the forest in miniature in the tiny crystal ball. I laugh at my fanciful thoughts.
My heavy boots slide down the trails, trails turned to wet clay in the rain. The dog runs in and out of the tall grasses, smiling at me with his tongue lolling out. He looks like a fuzzy pup with this rain in his hair.
After a while, there is home again. I splash through one more puddle, listen to a few more rain drops, then I head inside. Truly it is autumn in the Yukon.