It sounds genuinely absurd, but I’ve become oddly obsessed with the idea of natural attrition lately — or, perhaps, natural degradation is a better way to put it, all focused on the backyard of the house we’ve been living in for the past three years, and how swiftly it changed entirely due to the entirely odd weather we’ve been having for the last few months.
Fall seemed to arrive late and suddenly, when what had felt like a lengthy summer slipped into a sudden windy and rainy snap that helped all the leaves off the trees in record time. What had been such a dry earth in the yard was suddenly sodden, muddy and filled with puddles that were caked with leaves as far as the eye could see. The entire environment changed in what felt like a day.
And now, everything is changing again out there: the rains of the last few weeks — really dramatic, torrential downpours — paired with the freezing temperatures have terraformed a new yard once again. The leaves are disappearing, slowly mulched into non-existence by the elements, and the mud has started shifting in ways that feel almost intentional, creating rivers and pools in the ground that look and feel as if they’ve been there for years.
Watching all of this happen has been a passive pleasure across the last few months, something I’ve noticed as I’ve taken the dogs outside to pee, or moved trash bins from the back of the house to the sidewalk on Sunday evenings. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s been helpful in such a shitty year to look at something like this, entirely out of anyone’s control but constantly in motion, constantly evolving.
There’s something very comforting to me with watching the world do things that it does, outside of any human interaction, right there in my own backyard. Being constantly surprised by changes that I could never hope to predict, and waiting to see what’s next.