Rain is falling, falling, dripping from the tired green September leaves, sliding like tears down the window panes, denting the steely surface of the mill pond. The sky is leached of color, as gray as the gray geese that wing through the rain, calling, calling as they settle on the pond. Here and there I spot a scarlet leaf, or a yellow one, harbingers of the changing season. The air, though damp, is cool rather than muggy. The small lamp on my desk casts a cheery glow; the rest of the cottage is gloomy and chill.
Summer has been loathe to leave but at its heels the autumn winds are nipping, shaking dry leaves from the trees and herding chilly morning mists across the water. Soon it will be sweater weather. Apples and pumpkins are ripening, purple asters replace pink roses, and all along the roadsides the green grasses are turning a soft brown. Acorns are dropping and squirrels are in overdrive, storing and hoarding supplies for the coming cold.
The songbirds are gone for the most part. There are some finches left, and dozens of little sparrows, chickadees, and nuthatches that winter over. The cardinal remains, too, but does not sing in the mornings the way it did in summer. Mornings belong to the crows now, and the strident bluejay. The days grow short; darkness comes sooner and stays longer. The Harvest Moon, the last full moon of summer and an ancient time signal for the harvesting of corn, rode the sky early in September. The next full moon, the Hunter's Moon will appear on October 10th.
The signs of change are all around me. But in the seeds of the lilac, the bulbs of the daffodil, the buds that replace the fallen leaves, lies spring and a new year. Change, then, is ever present. It's just on a slower timetable than we humans have accustomed ourselves to. Today I will slow down, too. I will not count the hours so that instead of hurrying by they will slowly melt into one another and I will melt into the day.