Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Seasonal Shift

The mornings are cooler now and often shrouded in mist. The seasonal shift came riding in on an August storm that broke summer’s fierce and humid heat. The day after the wind and rain, the sky was a deeper, clearer blue, the evening air had a new chill to it, and the next morning the mists rolled in, heralding the end of summer despite the calendar.

It is the same every year and every year it surprises me. The signs of change are all around - leaves look like once bright curtains left too long in the sun. They droop, tired and faded and still in the windless afternoons. A few young maples and older, diseased trees flare bright red and orange amongst the green. My flower gardens, rife with bright blossoms just a few weeks ago, now sport more empty stems than blossoms. The pink lilies, the papery hollyhocks, the bee balm’s riotous red flowers are all gone. A few brave fairy roses hold small pink and red faces up to be admired but for the most part the flowers’ season has passed. Next month I will plant a few iris corms, bank the beds with grass clippings from the last lawn mowing and hedge them with raked leaves. All that beauty and brightness will sleep through the cold, waking when the world turns warm again.

When I was a child, I resisted the change of seasons, never wanting the earth to turn as quickly as it did. Not yet, not yet, I’d think, wanting my wishing to have some effect. I still feel the same. Looking into the morning mist I plead with the rising sun, stay high, stay strong, just for a while longer. It doesn’t heed me – it never has.


steven said...

stay high stay strong but give me the colours of leaves, the scudding clouds, the wind from the northwest, the rain, the hot afternoons, the cold nights . . . . i love this transition above all the others but like you i wish i could refine the details. steven

Molly said...

You almost make me wish I lived in four season country again. Almost....

Anonymous said...

I've never really understood autumn as favourite season. Colours, yes, but such redolence everywhere of closure, the ending of things. My age, probably - intimations of mortality!

Barbara said...

But aren't you excited about a scene as beautiful as that last shot? By now you must be convinced that spring and summer will come again!

Land of shimp said...

Wouldn't it be lovely if we could save to disk our pleasure in a beautiful day? Upload the feeling when needed. Insert and click, and suddenly a November day could feel like high summer.

Ah well, the autumn has its charms.

Like you, I am always surprised when the summer draws to a close, noting the signs of an ending.

Very seldom have I ever had a summer that I wished would end, I can't say the same about winter.

Again, lovely post.

Pauline said...

Steven - I'm a fan of all four seasons but the melancholy in this one makes me want to put it off

Molly - I tried two seasons and couldn't get used to it... how many do you have?

Dick, I agree, this one is the hardest to transition into and the sense of loss is palpable.

Barbara, I know they will, it's just that it will be a long six (or seven) months!

Thanks LOS and yes, I look forward to the end of winter more than the end of summer too, even though I love the snow.

herhimnbryn said...

I do love that cool shift after our heat in Summer.
I enjoyed your description of planting corms and layering clippings over them. I use pea hay to do that here. The rains this year have broken down the pea hay, so more will be needed before our Summer arrives again.

Reya Mellicker said...

But there's nothing wrong with asking the sun to stay high in the sky.

What beautiful images. You can actually see autumn arriing in that first one. Wow!

Well, if you can't make summer linger, then welcome fall, eh? Happy fall, Pauline!

Roberta S said...

Hi Pauline, I share in your suplication to the sun. This morning, a weather check tells me there will be frost. I silently suplicate for delivery for the tomatoes and pumpkins and cukes that need so little more time. I can not bear to see the death of my cukes. Right now they are in their prime. This death is untimely - they all need only a few more days of warm sunshine. What they don't need is the frost that the weather man missed yesterday (promising above zero nights for the next two weeks) and then this morning changed all that.
Today will be a busy day, saving what I can from the carnage. For now, inwardly I weep. Before eve I will do what I can and then still I will resist and deny, practice my own foolish faith, until I face blackened and bent leaves on the morrow and must give in to the strength of changing seasons.

Pauline said...

HHB - I love that touch of coolness too but it always comes too soon

Thanks Reya - the welcome mat is out :)

Roberta - didn't you have a frost? Summer went by that quick didn't it?

Anonymous said...

Love the description of your preparations for the coming of winter.

Meggie said...

I always have loved Autumn the best of all seasons. I do rather look forward to the cold & the peace, somehow. Now we are having our somewhat windy Spring.