Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Rainy Fall Morning

 It seems strange to talk of rain. The past month has been dry and hot. We begin to forget that things can be wet and sodden, as though every day was meant to be only hot and parched.
 Last night I slept with a woolen blanket on the bed. The house has begun to cool and when I went to bed last night, I folded the blanket at my feet and had it ready to pull up if I woke cold. I did. I don't know what time it was but I had been waking, time and again, and the sheet that covered me wasn't enough. I reached for the blanket and felt the instant warmth flood through my old bones.
 Already a light shower had passed overhead. I lay there long enough to hear a car thread its way north on Clayton Road and I heard the telltale splash in the roadway.
 Even so, though this day dawned wet, it was a light enough rain that I thought I might get my usual walk in. Not so. I had not completed three-quarters of a single lap than the rain began to fall more earnestly and I turned on my heel and beat a quick retreat for home.
 Nearing the end of the lane, a leaf was lying on the pavement and the reflection of raindrops held on its surface caught my attention. I made a note to return with my camera.

 This single leaf stands well for the entire season. It's dropped early and will soon enough be run over by Sam's truck when he comes out for the mail. And yet, face down, it collects moisture on its back and has its final moment of glory. Each drop of rain reflects the entire scene.
 On Saturday we were 101°. Today we were 57° as I walked and the dismal sky and falling rain made my pace quite uncomfortable. The season unwinds before my eyes; summer's at an end.
 At the edge of our garden, facing the back porch, are my pepper plants which have changed from creating beautiful green bell peppers, luscious and waxy, to those that are ripening, turning shades of red while still young. It is the mechanism of fall, I suppose. Every single plant tries to outdo the other with some last minute show.

 My guess is that throughout the summer, when we pick green peppers, we are picking an unripe vegetable. Now they are in a hurry to ripen before the first frost bites their flesh. And so they begin to turn the same colors as the maples will soon follow with, a last hurrah of summer.
 I'm back indoors with sodden jacket, hanging wilted about my shoulders. Now, by contrast, the house feels warm. But we will add no heat for another six weeks at least. Our goal is to await November.
 Already the signs of winter are here. The leaves fall. The garden matures. The lawn is sprinkled with autumn's weeds. There is not much time left for this season. It is on it's last damp legs.