The winds come up and the air cools. Little puffy clouds skip across the sky. Leaves fade from green to yellow to orange to red. Daylight shrinks.
My thoughts turn to pumpkins on the front porch, Indian corn on the coffee table and crunching leaves down the sidewalk. The action of summer slows to the last harvest. Apples are crisp and juicy. And my heart inhales.
If winter is dead, autumn is the sadness before the death. Why are it’s colors so happy, so warm? Is it because our Heavenly Father knew we would need the gold, amber and crimson to warm our chilly fingers and toes? Or is it His promise that spring will come again? Or maybe it’s His promise that death isn’t sad, but a new beginning.
OK, get ready. I’m feeling hinky.
May, as in May I …
- have another frozen yogurt, please?
- watch Steel Magnolias every year?
- play football with my grandsons, or attend a graduation?
- go barefoot in your house?
- explain how to paint with oils? How about the Gospel?
- go outside and only come in when it’s dark?
- tell you a story?
- hug you?
- plant Swiss chard in your flower bed?
- smell your roses, or better yet, honeysuckle?
- eat corn on the cob like a typewriter?
- drive through the alfalfa fields sucking in the aroma?
- stroke your labrador retriever’s ears?
- show you out.
I’m not sure when the first day of spring is. Never mind, whatever day the first poppy blooms, or a robin wings toward my rose arbor with a stick in her mouth, or a little girl in a sundress and white patent leather shoes dances down the sidewalk, those are the first days of spring. I like spring, but I don’t have allergies.
Around here, almond trees blossom first. It’s the only snow the Central Valley of California ever gets when they start dropping their petals. (Except maybe every ten years, for about a half hour.) The ground is carpeted in white, and people go into the orchards to take pictures of rejoicing.
Another terrific thing about spring is baby calves and lambs. All clean and jumping. Nudging their moms for milk and exploring their world. Soft to the touch and smelling earthy. And baby chicks are soft, too. I know you knew that already, but I would have been remiss to leave them out.
And then there’s turning on the swimming pool solar and checking the thermometer each day to see whether I can put in my toes yet. Brushing the conditioner and skimming almond blossoms off the top. Dreaming of the feel of the water rushing past and the Marco Polo games we’ll play.
And don’t forget planting the garden. The sweat of digging out the burmuda grass runners is exhilarating. Placing tiny seeds carefully and staking tomato plants, oh yeah. Holding the old man (a tender term) to only three screamingly hot pepper plants. Watering, scanning for new weeds, I love it!
So, let’s hear it for spring! Get out there and revel!
On the last day of summer before I begin to work in my classroom again I got stung five times by the same wasp. Is that like the phrase, “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out?” So I feel kind of icky and wistful for more non-schedulish (I believe I just coined that term) days. However, life needs balance, and one of them is work/play. So I will turn the alarm in my phone back on, iron the work clothes on the ironing board, cram the last revising of Nellie into this weekend as I do with other writing during the school year, and go back to quick dinners of chicken or fish broiled on the George Foreman with a vege and a carb on the side. I do have a new lunch box and lots of new books and instructional tools to pull out of my bag of tricks for the kids. So it’s the happy/sad of changing seasons for me. If you’re reading this, don’t just say to yourself, “Yeah, I get that.” Say something I can read, and maybe others too. Comments are welcome!