November 3, 2011 § 8 Comments

Summer seemed endless.

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 didn’t.

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.

Each season, watched attentively, unfolds a story rich in detail. The breathless heat of summer creates its own particular narrative–as does the shivering cold of winter.

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.

Pecans, shaken down by the wind, land in the grass.

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.

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§ 8 Responses to Today.

  • craig reeder says:

    it gives me some kind of deep consolation to know that there are still folks like you and Ray, growing your own food, living naturally with minimal technological or mechanical assistance. most folks like me are too far gone, hooked on gasoline, hooked on cell phones, hooked on…….well, anyway, far past redemption. thanks to you guys for keeping the dream alive.


    • We try, but Ray and I are very far from being independent when it comes to producing our own food, and to get to our natural land in Wakulla County we climb into a car.

      What I want to champion is paying attention to those things that are obscured by the buzz of being human.

      The world not made or controlled by man is far wiser and more beautiful than the one that is.


  • I enjoy reading this blog and listening to these wise words, with the satisfaction that I actually know this person and I can call her a friend.


  • With the art in photography (Through Ray’s Eyes blog) poetry inspired by your Wakulla land & with your essays such as Today here, you two could consider some sort of other medium for further storytelling about the Bluebird world you inhabit. It sounds like the perfect balance, suburban life when you need it & barebones outdoors rural existence when you crave it. Lovely post again Adrian.


  • Tgumster says:

    I am a fan of fall, every year anew. Always, it heralds the season of snuggling in, of dark mornings lit by laptop, warmed with coffee steaming. In any year, fall does not “wait for a more convenient time.” Like you, I don’t want to miss a moment.


  • I also enjoy watching nature in the neighborhood, it makes one think the deep questions, like why is Sally’s maple across the street totally red with most leaves dropped off already, while mine is still green with just the slightest touch of pink starting around the edges??


    • …and wonder, hey, what is my maple, chopped liver? How come hers is totally red and mine is an unimpressive pinkish.

      But maybe the gene for competition has been subdued and you are thinking, well what do you know…preview of coming attractions.


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