“Oooo! I’m going to pick carrots!” Mingus runs across the yard towards the garden. Ignored by our resident creatures through the summer, the garden has become an edible oasis for rabbits and chipmunks scavenging their last green meals before winter. Most of the carrot tops have been nibbled so I show Mingus how to dig around the chomped stalks to grab hold of the roots.
As Mingus pulls them up, he hoards them, announcing the color of each. We have red, orange and white carrots growing together; there’s excitement to see what each pull brings out of the ground. And then, Mingus takes a closer look. They aren’t the simple conical shape of grocery store carrots. Root tendrils stretch out from the main tuber, sucking water away from neighboring plants.
It isn’t long before a gust of wind blows across the garden. Beluga cries out, “Leafs falling, all over!” As he looks up at the confetti, harsh sunshine meets his eyes. He squints, demanding, “Dark! Dark!” It is fall and the trees no longer shade low morning light. Together, Mingus and Beluga run up a hill towards our house.
Have they smelled the leaves? Seen the bare branches above? Felt the wind, unbroken by verdant woods? I call, “Do you know about log rolling?? And they come to an abrupt halt.
“Yes. Log rolling.”
Log rolling is hard to explain, so for the first time in 25 years, I curl my arms, lay down on the ground and tumble down the hill. Mingus follows while Beluga shakes his head “no”.
Dizzy at the bottom, Mingus and I reach out our hands and Beluga runs to meet us.