While I'm overjoyed at the prospect, most people I know are reluctant to see summer end. I think autumn is Mother Nature's way of consoling them, as if to say, "Now, now. This isn't so bad, is it?" and out she comes with the pumpkins and gourds, the cider and doughnuts, the brilliant colors and wind tossed leaves...
so that, rather than bellyache about winter, we are forced to focus on her beauty.
"October takes me by surprise. I should have seen it coming. Like incense over the altar, wood smoke hangs heavy in the air. There are pumpkins on every porch—Smiley, Goofy, Grumpy, Spooky—so that Middleburg takes on a personality of its own. This is one of those powder puff mornings when the rising sun causes everything to blush. The air is so still that the chimney smoke reaches straight up into the soft pink haze that clings to the treetops. Instead of dew, we awaken to the glitter of frost on the grass, to ice on the windshield, to breath that crystallizes in mid-air. I can tell that snow is on the way. I know it as surely as I know the smell of honeysuckle in May, of fresh cut grass in July, and burning leaves in September.
Summer has surrendered to autumn. Sightseers choke the mountain roads by day and jam the restaurants and bars at night. But these are fair-weather fans. They may extol the glories of blazing foliage and crisp, clean air but they’ll be sure to head home before snow flies, before Mother Nature packs up her palette and heads south leaving behind the soft soothing shades of oatmeal and brown sugar, of seashells and sand, of bone. Before the sun pales and the sky turns to lead. Before the wind shifts and whistles unchecked through the bare branches, tossing fallen leaves around like the snow that is sure to follow."
|...the soft soothing shades of oatmeal and|
brown sugar, seashells and sand,
To my summer-loving friends and followers I say: Enjoy the consolations of autumn while they last.
To my snowdrift loving, hot-spiced-wine-by-the-fireplace addicted, hunker-down-and-write friends and followers I say: Hang in there. It won't be too much longer!
Are you reluctant to see summer end or eager for winter to arrive?
and believe that we are as much touched by it
as by the genial influences of summer."
Next week I'll be visiting my old stomping grounds in and around Buffalo, conjuring up childhood memories for a collaborative memoir with my brother. I'd like to do a post on embodied memory the next time I come in for a landing.