Towards the end of the day I set out into the fields and walked quietly to the linden that dominates the plateau. As the sun approached the horizon a wind arose, strong, from the north. The rustling of spelt as gusts rushed across its expanse brought thoughts of winter, a chill, and memories as past autumns came to me in the form of song, of notes seeded in my body which were borne into the air to be carried away. Once I started I could not stop singing. Oblique rays of light the colour of mead spread ghostly shadows along the hills, delineating the elongated, jagged outline of surrounding mountains.
The old tree stood alone in that isolated spot, sovereign. A dozen crow feathers speckled the grass around it, long shiny black plumes with deep bluish hues, each casting a shadow long as a trail. The wind gathered speed as I picked them up, one by one, humming still, clusters of sound in gusts of air meeting the feathers caught between my fingers and vibrating with them. Spreading my wings I sweeped in a large circle to the right before my plumage was plucked away and propelled upward to the evening sky. The feathers took flight while I was left stranded. I sat in the wild grass, my back against the coarse trunk, and watched the last of the sun disappear behind the bald mountain top.
You could tell from the location of the sun's dwelling, right behind the métairie, that summer was coming to an end. Something happened then that I could not touch, although I sensed that some long-winded process, having taken months to ripen, finally reached completion at the precise moment when the last of the sun fell behind my field of vision, briefly causing a stray cloud to glow with soft golden light. A veil was lifted then, and the music subsided. I felt myself melting into the world around me as my perception grew attuned to its life so that I became the trembling surface of the field, the swift little bird riding the wind, the round stone I inadvertently displaced as I walked back the way I'd come. Change was carved into the very air I breathed, encoded in its sounds, and by acknowledging its substance I allowed it to affect me. The influence was subtle, fleeting, nothing that I could capture or hold on to in any way. By the time I sat at my desk and began writing the wind's tide had turned and its strength diminished steadily as darkness fell.