Forgive my melodrama, but am I the only one who felt like the summer of 2012 would never end?
I've done a lot of driving over the last week and, here in the Midwest, it has just started to look like fall has arrived. The first week of October is over, and the leaves are wan--chalky red and gold like faded satin. No fiery bursts of color or breathtaking hillsides. The drought (we're still about eight inches short of rain for the year) seems to have bled the trees dry. It's as though they are desperate for rest, for the fall rains, for the relief that cold nights and overcast days will bring. When the wind blows even slightly, leaves that have barely turned drop soundlessly away. No dry, scratching dances across the driveway. Acorns pelt our roof like rain.
My garden bloomed frantically in September. We had some good rainfall, but most flowers give one last, glorious show every year before dying away, no matter what the weather has been. The annuals (which are only good for one year) then trade their gaudiness for a look of frost bitten tragedy. There's a freeze in the forecast overnight. A part of me wants to gather all the tender plants in pots and bring them onto the porch so they'll live another day or two. But I won't because it's their time.
Last night we went to an outdoor showing of The Hunger Games at Walker's Bluff, a local winery. The original September showing had been rained out, and so they rescheduled it along with the Fourth of July fireworks. There were very few fireworks displays for the actual holiday because the drought made a tinder box of our area. It was also, coincidentally, the eve of my son's 13th birthday. All was serendipity. All was also freezing! Watching a film outdoors is such a pleasant thing to do when it's, say, 70 degrees rather than 45. And fireworks in October? That was definitely odd. It was summer, extended, because summer had been inhospitable. We were very grateful for the cozy fire pits and hot chocolate. In all, it was a lovely evening, and we had a terrific time.
Like the trees and flowers, I'm anxious for the fallow season. I'm ready to be inside for a while. When I walked into our house last night, I realized it had the air of a place where no one has been home much. There are still school supplies on the dining room table as well as a new cookbook to get me in the mood for, well, cooking dinner before 8 pm. The critters have been looking a little scraggly and in need of a good brushing. Windows are dusty and we're almost out of all types of tea except for the giant tea bags I buy for iced tea. It's time to get reacquainted with the indoors in a slightly different way than we were acquainted this past, ghastly summer. I'm ready to give more time over to reading and writing. And thinking. Plus, I miss my sweaters. I know it sounds silly, but I loved reaching up onto a shelf to grab a favorite wooly one. Oh, and I've been a little lazy about the bird feeders, lately. Gone are the days when I had to fill the birdbath every 12 hours, but the birds are no doubt dusty, too.
I'm ready for a new season. Are you?