Mellowing into Fall: Essay and Photos

Leaves Etc._20140924_0928

Hope you like the cotton-candy clouds, JannaT!

If you didn’t know better, you’d think furry brown Cheetos were crossing the road, crawling from cornfield to cornfield. I’ve done a lot of swerving as a consequence. I flick my eyes up to the rearview and watch their little forms rolling around like horseshoes in the sand. And I hope they’re okay.

Yesterday, a hummingbird flitted into our garage, taking refuge, perhaps, from the autumnal cascade that I almost caught in this photo (believe it or not, that spot in the middle right quadrant is a leaf).

It’s that golden time of year again. When none or few still do hang. Shackled by bony branches. Or are they caught up in some Cthulhu’s claws?

Leaves Etc._20140924_0912

Goodbye, Summer.

The rose bush is putting on a small show next to our driveway — a sole spray of pink popping out of the greens. The chives are preparing for lean times, too. Their ends are droopy and brown.

But two watermelons and one cantaloupe cling to life, desperate to ripen. Before snow, or some other surprise, settles in.

When I was a child, fall upset the philosophical applecart of happiness. The animals and plant lives I loved to follow by limb and with eyesight seemed to have drawn in. Hunkered down. Sloughed off. Or gone under.

The main good things to be said for autumn in the Northern hemisphere — it certainly wasn’t returning to school, apart from cross-country running when I was a teenager — were the twin surfeits of sugar and tryptophan. And the mere prospect of snow made my imagination effervesce, especially when I lived close to the ocean.

Leaves Etc._20140924_0939

He’s playing amid the fallen leaves. I’m learning to relax.

Now, I tend to view fall through a yellowed lens. No, not jaundiced exactly, but mellowed. Relaxed. (It’s the medication. Ha!) Embracing the slowing-down of natural processes. Ah, but what to make of the diminished thing? Perhaps we ought to consult a certain bird of Mr. Frost’s? He did remind us, after all, that nothing gold can stay.

In the meantime, enjoy some other autumnal offerings from around the world of WordPressland. For instance: An essay and photo meditation. A re-blogged poem. A poem reimagined (after Chinese poet Li Po). A stream-of-consciousness fiction piece.