As I drove down to work today, I glanced east into the sunrise. Silhouetted by pink light and morning haze, inverted tear drops were suspended, frozen in the sky. Four hot air balloons defying gravity in the calm air, prosaically reminding me that today is the last day of summer, and fall takes her place tomorrow.
I much prefer Autumn over the other seasons. Spring is lovely in a vivacious energetic way. Life burgeoning, carelessly thrusting forth in colors that make rainbows blush. Winter is a solemn time of renewal and death. Beneath the cold winter glare all ponder their future, taking stock of its past, planning its awakening, or giving into the great circle, releasing itself to nourish the new and gaining immortality in that instant. Summer is a hot and invigorating time during which borders are defined and maintained, new life protected by old life. Summer is a dramatic time of thunder storms, fire, and hail, the world beating its breast. It is the heart of the seasons, the grind of the annual cycle. In Fall things begin to give into the upcoming sloth, preparing for rest, winding down. Fall too, presents vivid colors to the world, but these are marks of maturity and not the fireworks of reckless youth.
This past year has been particularly trying and exhausting for my family and I. So many changes we have all been through, with even more likely to come - sooner rather than later. But for now, I feel the calm of the new season wash over in the welcome embrace of an old friend. I feel the change in the very air around me, the mornings getting crisper, the evenings turning chill.
I will begin the rituals of fall soon. The sprinkler system will be turned off, no water needed for sleeping lawns. I will do the final edgings and mowings for the year, primping the grass so in its rest it will not be embarrassed by errant sprigs here and there, a yard’s version of bed head. Some raking will be done, but not much, it is a small yard with few trees. The final weeds will be pulled in a fruitless attempt to limit their ravenous foothold in spring. Eventually, the pilot on the fireplace will be relit for in anticipation of curling up with my wife and a book in the warmth and flickering glow granted us through the flip of a switch.
I am odd that way about the Fall, I long for the creeping chill that will enter my bones over the next few months. I patiently watch the softening of the light, and the shorting of the days. Fall to me is rest and restoration, a time to heal my aches and any wounding of my soul. It is a time to gently breath in the quieting world, and to reach out my hand and have my wife slip hers easily into it as we instinctively move closer.