Autumn came through the neighborhood last night. By the time we woke, it was gone again, but there was no mistaking the footprints it left behind. Setting out for a ride at 8 am the signs were subtle, but certain. Acorns lay like marbles in the gutters of the sleeping streets, and the cottonwood leaves scuttled like crabs across the pavement, leaving behind their fragrant scents. The cicada’s still cried summer, but you could hear the doubt begin to creep into their voices. How much longer will the green leaves sway in the buzzing of the afternoon sun, before they begin to burn around the edges, igniting in flames of orange and gold?
The State Fair is almost upon us, and school is looming in the distance. These are the final bittersweet days of summer. The lakes have been swum, the trees have been climbed, and the basepaths are worn into the backyard. What more is there left to do, but wait for fall to arrive?
It will come with a rush of wind out of the north, and the trees will bow before it. The great ghost of autumn arrives to reclaim its kingdom. There is no point in clinging to the summer. Better to turn towards the spirit, bend your knee, and speak its name. Its tendrils will slip through the waters of the lake, and slink along the shoreline. Sitting in the twilight of the front porch, we shiver at its touch. Drinking deep we taste the coolness of the air, and quench our summer thirst, then close our eyes against the memories that haunt us still.