Sunday, September 23, 2007
Autumn is a restful time, silent and lazy. Its days of Indian summer are hazy and misty. The trees have donned their richest garments of gold and scarlet; but here and there some have resisted her beckoning call and are still emerald green, stubbornly trying to remind us that summer was only yesterday.
Over everything is a heavenly golden glow. Even on a cloudy day as I walk along a country lane with the trees forming a burnished golden arch overhead, it seems as if the sun is smiling down upon me.
All summer the sumac stood like proud sentinels with reddish-purple plumes in their caps. Now they are crimson and make the hills along the roadside look as if they were on fire. The graceful goldenrod nods gently in the soft breath of fall, greeting me as I pass by.
Chimneys are sending up lazy smoke signals, scenting the air with a sweet woodsy aroma that fills me with quite nostalgia. Some of the leaves have fallen and cover the woodland path. As I walk, I purposely shuffle along as I did when I was a child, so that I can hear the chattering of the crisp parchmentlike leaves crackling beneath my feet.
Mists and vapors are rising in the low spots, giving everything a look of fairyland enchantment. In the puddles left by the rain I watch the leaves drifting by like sailboats - then swirling and twirling, spun by the soft fresh breeze. The frowning clouds that have been hanging overhead suddenly break up and disappear; the smiling October sun sends down its Midas touch and everything blazes with shimmering acres of sparkling gold.
All along the thickets the spiders have woven their own intricate designs with fragile-looking webs that weave in and out of the branches and soar aloft like strings of tiny fairy kites. In the fork of a small tree they have placed an almost invisible round platter, its design circling and circling, interlaced with silvery webs from edge to center. Everywhere the webs have caught and held the raindrops, catching the setting sun's rays, making them glitter like diamonds on a silken thread, promising that tomorrow will be a golden day.
As I near home I can smell the burning leaves, like incense filling the countryside. Dusk falls quickly in October and the stars are starting to twinkle in a sky that is not yet dark. Somehow, this time of the year the stars seem closer, as if I could reach up and pick myself a bouquet of star-flowers.
The night has become quite crisp and I pull my sweater a little closer to me and realize that by morning the pond will almost certainly be covered with a delicate shell of crystalline ice. I remember that as a child I would tap it gently with my foot and hear tinkling sound, like the breaking of a fragile glass goblet.
My day has been peaceful and rewarding; I have walked hand-in-hand with God. Today I have gathered many treasures to store in my memory. These are souvenirs that I shall keep and cherish forever.