It was only last week, I’m sure of it. Summer was still in the driver’s seat.
It had to be, for I was still wearing shorts and tank tops. The sun beat down on the world, filling it with growth and warmth. But even then, the signs were there.
Not too long ago, I was hiking along a forest trail, enjoying the smell of roses and ripening blackberries. We came across some wild hop vines, and crushed the blossoms between our fingers, savoring the pungent smell. It seemed as if summer would go on forever.
However, Autumn was peeking through the tops of trees, singeing the leaves a purple-red and gold. She was playing with us, hiding among the treetops and watching for her chance to come out and display her beauty.
Usually, in this part of the country, the seasons play tug-of-war, nether giving up, until it is too late for the old season; it tires of the game, and finally lets go. This year, however, it seems as if summer looked at the calendar, packed its bags, and moved south without so much as a by-your-leave. Thus my quandary at the beginning of this blog.
What has always been termed “Indian summer” just didn’t happen this year. The skies have darkened, and the rains have come. We will not see hot weather again until next July. Sure, we’ll get dry days, but they will be filled with hazy, slanted light that stays only as long as it wishes, and that isn’t very long.
From my dining room window, I look out on what was my best vegetable garden in years. The tomatoes are still trying to make a go of it, but their sunny red ripeness has been replaced by false cheerfulness; a pale, pinkish attempt at best. But my pumpkins are still going at it, and I am overwhelmed by their little round bodies lying about the garden like fat orange cats. I love that I got such bounty this year.
And that is one of the things I’m grateful for. Autumn slows the growth, yes, but it also slows my hurry. I have far less to do, since the weather keeps me indoors. This is only the beginning of fall, and I am looking forward to the things that make this my favorite season.
Soon the high school will have its Homecoming Parade down our street, their handmade floats more attractive than anything the Macy’s Thanksgiving one could ever produce. And why? These were made with honesty, and hometown pride, and the efforts of young people still waiting to make their mark on the world.
Every float will be full to the hilt with kids, and the street will be lined with folks from all over. Children with bags will run alongside, while the float people throw candy to them. There will be a marching band, a few cool classic cars, and, at the end, the requisite police car with its flashing lights. Not a huge event, and it’s over in minutes, but it’s the biggest thing to those high schoolers. To me, their fun event signals the beginning of fall.
Soon the leaves will give up their holds on the trees, and I will be kicking through the fallen gold-and-red beauties on my walks, scuffing paths through their thick layers. The sharp tang of wood smoke will be on the air, there will be mist through the trees, and the cold moistness will remind me that winter is approaching.
Sweaters and warm pants have replaced those shorts and tank tops, the sun has hidden behind rain clouds, and the days are growing shorter. It is time for all of nature to fall into the sleep of winter.
And I am blessed to be able to be a part of it.
Those of us participating in this blog hop would love to hear from you, our readers. What do you like about the season we are entering into? Please leave a comment. And, if you wish, please join the blog hop; it will go on for the rest of the week. The other folks on this merry jaunt are as follows: