Welcome, Autumn

Blue Heron

Autumn arrived today just as the calendar noted. This morning I yanked a flannel shirt  from the closet like I meant it. I’m not quite ready for the wind from the Strait of Juan de Fuca that is gusting in snorts, charging the Island terrain like a bull through the streets of Pamplona.

In front of my window, golden leaves rain down from the river birch tree. Red leaves whirl by from a nearby oak. Our yard deer are high-fiving it. Eat while the eating is good they seem to say.

The dahlias are doing the dance of droop and bow. Tomato plants are quivering under a heavy load of not quite ripe bounty. I’m out the door to prop them up. The jalapeño plant is screaming for a vacation in Cabo. I’ll deal with the jalapeño later.

Miss Spooky has been out to survey her wet and windy territory. She didn’t take long. Our bed provides sanctuary on a blanket rumpled for her pleasure. Her ear twitches at the whine of wind down a chimney, and a particularly heavy gust causes her to open one golden eye.

“Not too worried, are you?” I’m digging around for some heavier socks. Miss Spooky accepts the change of season with a sigh and a purr, a chance to snooze longer, to dream of a chair in front of a crackling fire.

Our porch is stacked with last year’s good dry wood. The green wood cut earlier this summer is curing in cords for future year fires. The smell of wood and sawdust still permeate the air where the log splitter did double overtime earlier in the week.

Soon the case sale at the Market Place will give me reason to stock up on legumes. Seasonal soups will replace the summer salads that paraded through our kitchen this summer, but surely not yet.

I enjoy this place where there are definitive seasons but I’d like to determine their arrival just a wee bit. It seems I’m never quite ready to end one and begin another.

I should be like the blue heron on the dock that turns his back to catch an autumn wind and ruffles his feathers into a convenient comforter. Neither he nor Miss Spooky seem to mind the change of seasons.They adjust. That is the lesson for me.

The seasons come in their time. It is not my place to wish for a later autumn, an earlier spring or any other change to the natural rhythm of nature.

Welcome autumn. You have arrived exactly on time.

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