Fall is here. It officially arrived last Sunday. Saturday’s pouring rain was the prelude that heralded her entrance. There were times during the summer she now pushes into the past when I thought she would never make her appearance. I should have known better she never fails to appear.
A gentle breeze lifted a few leaves from the tree in my front yard as though in praise of her coming. They danced in syncopated rhythm along the currents of invisible air, moving this way and that way but always, slowly, gently, falling to the ground, daring me to remove them, mockingly aware their brothers and sisters would soon waltz down to take their place.
Early Sunday morning the chill embraced Fall’s coming. Seniors with thin blood debated pulling out the warmer clothes. The sun, hiding behind a blanket of clouds, refused to give combat to Fall’s arrival. The wind whispered the promise of air soon to be frigid. The pace of steps along one’s morning walk quickened with the freshness of the air. The dogs pulled upon their leash with a renewed effort, almost prancing in harmony with the change.
Fall visited again last Sunday morning. Birds now light upon the feeder not in expectation of seed, it seems, but to remind the one behind the window of shopping chores in preparation for what will come. Squirrels scamper along the limbs of the oak, twigs in mouth, in a building mood. Feral cats who visit daily for a ration of food begin to take long naps on the back porch, hinting the need of some towels, blankets, rags and such to comfort when the cold arrives.
Fall arrived last Sunday, as she always does, just as the blooms are completing their wilting process. The greenness of flowering shrubs now begins to diminish. The grass now finds little energy to reach toward the sky; even the weeds fight for survival with less eagerness. All nature is yawning in anticipation of a long nap, of restful slumber before the deep sleep of winter and the anticipation of resurrection.
Fall made her appearance last Sunday. Her very presence now calls for leaf blowers to be dusted, broom rakes to be made ready. Mulch beds eagerly await the new compost. Fall is prelude to the planning of indoor projects, of walls needing painting, closets needing pruning, books inviting reading, old friends needing calling.
Early Sunday morning, Fall arrived. I recognized her as I opened the door. She hinted at tasks needing to be performed. Following the morning walk on the first day of fall’s arrival, the protective clothes of the coming seasons were revisited. Sweaters shivered in anticipation of being once again held against the warmth of human flesh. Afghans, months ago packed away and stored, cried out to be unfolded and a catalyst of warmth on the looming chilly night.
Fall arrived last Sunday. Fall reminded me of the cycle of life, of the changing seasons, of the variations of nature’s imperatives. Fall arrived last Sunday, and I, an old, perhaps ancient, parson, am reminded of the cycles that make up the seasons of this thing called life. I’m reminded that Fall is but prelude for Winter’s arrival. Fall whispers to me that life will move at a slower pace for a few months and that in that time is the possibility of rediscovery.
Fall arrived last Sunday, I danced with her to the rhythms of the seasons.