A Hint of Fall

DCM_6604Things have been somewhat quiet around here lately. I blame this on several things: the transition from two naps to one (which is more difficult on me than it is on her), distracting novels, time devoted to other projects, and a quirk in me that prefers long-form (and therefore time-consuming) writing over shorter snippets. At the moment, I can (or am only willing) to address the last item on that list. I’d been contemplating joining 31 Days this year, thinking it might jumpstart this poor blog, but then I realized: why wait until October? So. In an attempt to blog more regularly, and to capture the heart of what I wanted to do with this blog, I plan to write small, short vignettes – records of choosing this moment – several times a week. Starting today. 

Fall teases us, fools us into digging our sweaters out of the closet, into swapping out the grill for the slow cooker. The temperature plummets and the first sprinkling of rain drifts down, just enough to moisten the dust, to make things seem fresh and new and, though the forecast tells me summer hasn’t quite released her grip yet, I revel in the promise of autumn.

An early crop of apples, two less-than-perfect-but-still-usable bushels from our own small tree, waits on my kitchen table, ready to be turned into sauce and butter. For some time now, I’ve said I will get to that soon, but soon hasn’t quite come. I blame the last dog days of summer; apple processing is most certainly a fall task, and I need the air to bite and the sky to threaten rain before I fill my home with the scent of nutmeg and cinnamon and autumn. This fall teaser, this preview, found me unready, unprepared. I did not use these brief days of cool weather for the work of canning, and so the apples must wait another week or two, I suppose.

The yellow school buses make their rounds around town, full of gap-toothed children, headed off with sharpened pencils and new backpacks and shiny folders for another year of learning. The tomato bushes in my garden brown, producing a last spat of ripe red fruit before they shrivel and die, the rich abundance of fresh produce giving way to the stews and soups and comfort food of the cooler months. Though the leaves have not begun to turn, though this drop in temperature is but a taste of what is yet to come, change is in the air. I indulged yesterday, during Katie’s nap, dug out a can of pumpkin and a bag of chai tea, measured some cinnamon, some nutmeg, some vanilla, some sugar. I sat at my table and watched the gray sky and sipped my latte, ready for the ushering in of something new.

The changing of the seasons remind me that this life is full of them. Seasons, that is. Though it is an oft and, perhaps, overused phrase, this time in which I find myself is just that – a season. It will soon transition to the next. I need the reminder, for I have felt stifled, trapped, confined at times over the past few months, stuck in this rut of mothering a one-year-old and wondering whether there isn’t something bigger, something more. The days, like the heat of summer, feel endless at times, and as the crisp breeze teases my hair, as the world sparkles, fresh and new, after a drizzling storm, I remember that this time of being home with one little one is but a fleeting season.

The temperatures will climb tomorrow and the next day and the weekend will find me in shorts and sunglasses once again. But I have had this taste of fall, and I will remember. The summer heat will not last forever. Time will pass and with it will come change and there will come a point in the not-so-distant future when I will miss these long, hot days, when I will look on them with nostalgia, perhaps, and wonder why they flew by so quickly.

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