Wow! Did that summer blow by or what? It seems like just yesterday I was laying down the raised beds in the pseudo-Elizabethan garden and trimming the rose bushes out of the apple tree. Could it possibly be two months since I went to Maine and
lamented that I couldn’t stay for Moxie Day?
I’m not ready for fall! Autumn cannot be here! Yet all the signs point to it.
Tina and I dropped the girls off to college last week. Joe starts his classes at Valley Forge today. So the autumn hush has returned
to the world. This tell-tale rhythm, of things slowing down as the kids are once again occupied with their adult lives, smacks of the changing season.
The summer flowers fade. The bees grow quiet as the evenings turn cool. The golden rod explodes its sniffly pollen into the chilly breezes that have replaced the summer wind. Mom and Uncle Tom sound like trumpet swans as the evenings tickle their noses and throats with yellow dust that blows in waves across the town. In every roadside crack and crevice autumn flowers poke their noses and heads forth to let us know that the time of dying is here again.
I know fall is here because that sense of nostalgic hope is back too. It comes as things wilt and pass away, that acknowledgement that this is how it’s supposed to be…the constant ebbing and flowing tide of life. The season makes me look back with longing for what was and forward to what will lie ahead when winter’s grip lays dormant the land I have only just begun to work.
I am not ready for the season change, but I know it’s time has come. I am laying up the winter sauce and blanching out the beans and squash. The smell of boiling butternut, oregano, basil, garlic, and stewing tomatoes fills every nook and crevice in our kitchen.
A week ago I was not even aware of any of these things. I may have passed them all by and never once thought of them as the signs of summer’s end. I probably could have forgotten that school, golden rod, or stewing tomatoes meant the beginning of fall. It’s been nice enough that I could have convinced myself that summer had no end… or at the very least it was not near. But here in New England there is one sign none of us can ignore; As certain as the robin means spring or snow fly signals winter, in New England it is the leaves that tell us the time has come. It’s why we call it FALL.