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And the days dwindle down
To a precious few…
All good things come
to an end, even summer.
Now there are fogs in
the morning, and spiders weave webs across our walking paths. The
hackberries shed their tacky dresses and the early dews mimic
frosts. Slanting afternoon light hampers the golfer’s search for his
lost ball, and even the longest drivers agree the leaf rule makes
for a good lie.
We search for last
tomatoes amidst yellowing vines and fry the green ones for
breakfast. Cornstalks are yellow and must be plowed under, else they
harden like steel, and must be pulled by hand – a backbreaking task.
Our cherished roses
stage a last flourishing rally. Though fewer, they are bigger and
more colorful. Or is it that we pay them closer attention than we
did in June, when profligate abundance spewed forth more than we
September offers the
artist a bonus month. Summer’s boring green gives way and the trees
begin to distinguish themselves, one from the other, with shadings
of yellow, red, citron, russet, cream and orange. The grasses
develop the textures of an oriental carpet, and distant hills peek
blue beyond denuded groves as the searchlight sun picks out views we
were unable to appreciate in summer.
This is a month of
transition and of contrasts. September has the hottest days versus
the coolest nights, as the earth’s stored sunlight vies with the
night’s sunless void. My grandfather’s Uncle Dan told of nearly
freezing the night he lay bleeding at Chickamauga, looking up at the
bright stars from the dark woods, where they found him, just in
time, next morning, to save him for Resaca. The equinox on the 21st
marks the point on our calendars when the dark gains the ascendancy.
For the pioneer mother
in the articles alongside, these were days of fear. The Indians
could travel far in a dry season and did, harvesting horses, scalps
and prisoners from a land they considered theirs.
For today’s mother,
the children are back in school and the house is quiet for a time,
awaiting the return of the family, For grandparents and others
wintering in Florida or Arizona, it is time for the making of plans
Later this month we
attend a dispersal sale of my grandmother’s old house and
furnishings in a small town in Kentucky. In a morning a hundred
years of a family’s gatherings will fly away to strangers, with only
the memories not for sale.
September reminds us
we are not home yet. We are in a moving vehicle and entitled to
enjoy the view. Perhaps the artist can help. The question is, where
shall we go this winter?