November 3, 2011 § 8 Comments
Hot and dry.
We felt it in this house cooled only by fans and the determined belief that, “It isn’t that bad. We’ve been hotter.”
Truth is, each summer seems to be the hottest ever, but we tough it out. Having left the shore of spring, we spend an eternity in the doldrums of summer, yearning for a cooler season to appear on the horizon.
In August we took our annual escape week in Maine, hoping in our absence that summer would break.
It never does. We returned to the insect hum of the fans and the salvation of tall glasses of ice water.
But that’s behind us now.
Our summer-slow brains are waking up. Ambition is giving itself a good shake after a long lazy nap.
Ray has been up in the attic screening the vents—even thinking about that project would have been lethal just a month ago.
In response to the mottled dogwood leaves and splashy yellow-reds of the tallow trees I’ve taken out my box of colored pencils. I haven’t made a mark on paper yet, but part of the pleasure of this new season is savoring the return of desire and purpose.
Humans, with their elaborate calendar of rituals put their own spin on the passage of a year–we are now running hard toward the holidays.
At the Front Porch Library ghost flags made from plastic bags flutter.
In the natural world monarchs are migrating and in the early morning a bee, stiff with cold clings to a flower, waiting to be warmed by the sun. The other day Ray and I found a bee lying the ground instead, killed by the cold.
In our winter garden the collards are looking good, the yellowing pepper plants left over from summer hold out flowers that will never yield fruit.
We’ve collected a couple bucketsful which we shell in the evening. They break with a loud crack sending shards ricocheting around the kitchen.
Spiders are slow on their webs—soon all that will be left are sagging threads.
So much is happening–even when I can’t come up with a legitimate excuse for leaving my desk I take frequent walks around the neighborhood. The golden autumn light catching in the treetops won’t wait for a more convenient time and I don’t want to miss it.
Next comes the season of pulling a stool up to the wood stove and holding out my hands, of walking on the sunny side of the street– the side I’ve avoided all summer.
But I’m in no rush. Today waits just outside my window. Think I’ll take a walk.
Note: To see a post written during the doldrum days of summer click here.