The falling leaves drift by my window. The falling leaves of red and gold. I see your lips, the summer kisses. The sunburned hands I used to hold.—Johnny Mercer
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Autumn doesn’t mess around once it finally decides to do its thing. Only a week ago, I was able to take pictures of brightly colored trees in the neighborhood, their leaves golden and resplendent in the sunlight. I looked at the giant oak across the street yesterday afternoon and its branches now are nearly bare; a yellow blanket covers the ground around it’s dark trunk.
There are still several hours before sunrise as I write this, so I can only imagine even more leaves are down this morning. Wind howled by my bedroom window all night. Some gusts were strong enough to shake the entire house. Any leaves still on trees this morning are brave souls hanging on to futility; they, too, will fall. A horizon of dark, grey, nothingness is all nature has left us. Those not already prepared for winter had best hurry.
We keep saying we’re going to cover our windows with plastic to help keep out the encroaching cold. We’ve said that the past two winters as well; it hasn’t happened, yet. Like those leaves that still cling desperately to tree branches, we never really want to give in to the fact that winter is coming. We use the excuse of needing to wait for “Indian Summer,” and then find some other reason after that. We really don’t want to cover the windows; we want to be able to see.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Falling leaves are nature’s definitive statement on change. There’s no fudging the line as to whether the season is here or not. Summer’s out the window, winter is knocking at the door, and Autumn is doing its best to give us some kind of buffer so that we’re not still running around half-naked trying to find a way to heat the swimming pool when snow starts flying.
Neither is there any compromise on the plants in our garden. Harvest is done, even if there is one little orange-colored tomato still hanging on for dear life. We’ll leave that for the birds, or perhaps the neighborhood raccoon.
Relationships change, too. We instinctively recognize the need to gather close, to have someone with which to huddle and keep us warm through the winter. Even where there are no drunken Halloween parties to help, couples still manage to find each other lest they freeze alone in their beds. Besides, we need someone to help us rake all those damn leaves in the yard, going from yellow to brown.
There is no putting the leaves back on the trees once they’ve fallen. Brace for impact. Winter is coming.[/one_half_last]