Whispers of Autumn

You know those days in September, where you can smell a hint of autumn? One day you wake up and the air is crisp and the early sun is shining brightly. Those are the kinds of days you may only get one or two of each year. They come without notice, and they leave just as quickly–slipping back into the heat of a summer not quite ready to relinquish its grip.

Today was one of those elusive days where the purple mums and the red tinge of my dogwood tree seemed right at home. After such a long (unprecedented) summer, people all over are sure to welcome the deluge of fall that isn’t too far away. For now, I’d like to savor the open windows, new smells in the air, and the hint of what is to come.

Slowly, steadily, like the the first autumn drizzle, nature begins to wrap itself up and prepares to go inward.
The sad coos of the mourning doves foster in the early autumn morning.
The heat has subsided, the nostalgic longing of August–of summers long ago and lingering memories that sting the eyes have passed.
All around are changes, small at first then gradually increasing.
Don’t move too far away from the cycles of nature–you’ll risk not noticing at all.

Allow the falling acorns of the oak be your first clue,
The weakened intensity of the sun as it hangs lower in the sky is your next oracle,
Then the slow cessation of the crickets, and the cooler dawns and dusks,
perfect for lingering looks out the back door window.
Finally, allow the browning, yellowing, and reddening of the trees,
and all that grow beneath them,
to be your final vision of this glorious season.

Soon the rains and dark skies of November will arrive, and with them comes the
inward turn towards the winter.
Use this time to slowly, steadily, prepare,
and savor.

Like the last bit of warm tea, or the final morsel of cake–treasure autumn’s lingering kiss.
If we pay attention, we’ll find that yes, we have a part to play among the doves, deer, and trees.
And, just like them, be aware.
Be a part.
Do not turn away.

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