This morning, I went out into the garden just before our guests came upstairs for their breakfast. The intense heat of the last couple of days had subsided. Dampness from the ocean had completed its usual task of staining the walkways, and the plants were fresh with crystal drops of dew. Something new was here: fall was distinctly present and all about, with prescient glimpses of the days to come.
I could just envision those now – liquid drops on the roses forming encrustments of glittering rime in the not too distant future. Funny, how we dread the onset of winter and yet, in some part of ourselves, long for it, as well. The shorter days, the cozy nights next to the fire. The dreams of coming seasons.
While I stood observing, I realized a shift in nature sounds, as well. The air was full of chatter, some from birds, and some from small furry creatures. Their pursuit was identical: the time had come to fill their larders against the onset of inclement seasons. And much there was to be had! A massive nut tree overhead was shaken limb to limb and relieved of its bounty (I could only imagine the number of little seedlings – mini nut trees – that I’d be pulling out of the garden the following spring!) The rowan berries appeared to have reached the pinnacle of their autumn ripeness, and were highly sought after by cheeky, chastising birds. And then there were the apples, flushed with an autumnal russet tone, and juicy on the branch. How they were eyed, with envy and longing, by ambitious squirrels, not quite up to the task.
And in the pumpkin patch, risking their all as they sidled past Alfredo, our marmalade mouser, tiny rodents scuttled through tangled vines and oversized leaves, collecting the detritus of expended seed pods and decaying gourds.
These are the days of wind down and contemplation. What needs to be done, and what will be done differently next year. Days which continue to be filled with hard labor and yet, have about them a sense of peacefulness, too; a sense of resignation. A time for every purpose under Heaven.