Here's the thing...once upon a time there were no calendars, and no scientists to tell us when the exact moment of Fall would breathe its first and last breath. There probably wasn't even a word for it. Just a moment when everyone stopped hunting and gathering and clubbing each other and being chased by saber-toothed tigers to stand still, sniff the air and realize something was changing. Today is like that.
Yep, Fall is officially still a week away, but the calendar is a lie...or, to be kinder, a guideline. Look at that sky....is that not an October blue? The light has a golden, crystalline quality to it. Wild turkeys, squirrels, mice and chipmunks rush about in greater numbers than just two weeks ago, and the deer are raiding the pear tree and grazing openly at dawn and twilight.
Whether it's the concord grapes, the already abundant apples and newly appearing winter squashes, or the need to light a fire or snuggle more deeply under the extra blanket, denial won't change that Fall is here. Oh, we'll get warm again, may even have to run the air conditioner off and on these next few weeks. Tomatoes and green beans may share space with those grapes, and the October blue will disappear in humid haze for awhile. But reality has spoken. Use that calendar to record soccer practice and vet appointments, birthdays and anniversaries, but use your five senses to know the season. Listen to the dry leaves whispering and shushing; admire the blaze of crimson poison ivy (from afar); savor the tart sweetness of the season's fruits--a true metaphor for the giddy sadness that so often accompanies Fall; breathe in the scent of woodsmoke from the first fires and the spices of hot soups and applesauce; feel the crunch of leaves and silken softeness of milkweed on its farewell journey. You know it's Fall, deep in your soul...for some of us, it's a gift; for others, well...take heart; the Wheel keeps turning and Summer will be back...I promise.