Fall is for squirrels, who scamper past at top speed. The light refracting through their fuzzy tails lends an ethereal glow. I saw one around 5am. It was bright white in the car lights, a ghostly reminder of squirrels past. Years ago when I was in college walking quickly across campus I met a squirrel running perpendicular to me. We collided and the squirrel jumped off my knee with a perfect arabesque before continuing in stride along its path. I stopped and literally spun around. Watching gray squirrels is an American pastime. The squirrels chase each other up trees and around stumps. They sit on rocks and eat acorns, leaving a mess of broken husks. I once saw a squirrel eating a bagel in our driveway. I’m not sure where it found a bagel, but it might have stopped for one on the way to work. They climb with exceeding grace and squeak from the treetops above our home. They nest in the hollows and make dormitories of leaves. They pause in the margins one paw tucked up, one down and ready. We see them out of the corners of our eyes, industrious little flashes. They move through life a little faster knowing there is one path from fall to winter. The acorns only come once a year.
Amy Jean Porter is an artist based in Connecticut.