Welcoming Autumn

Grapes, no wrath

I’ve been sitting this week watching the sun sweep across the windows of my office, reaching deep into the room, as though trying to illuminate something that I’ve lost. I’m ignoring it, choosing to stare out the window, watching the back field.

I’m waiting for the bobcat. She’s all the rage on our street. Neighbors call those with small dogs wondering if they’re inside, as the she was seen strolling towards the Rims with something largish in its mouth (turns out it was a squirrel). A dozen or so sightings this month has my hopes up that she’ll come traipsing past my office window soon.

Fish and Game says the bobcat was pushed down from the Rims by a mountain lion. I have yet to see either. And so I keep one eye on the field. Yesterday I fell all over myself trying to race to our back fence just in time to flush tigre, the neighbor’s cat coming up out of the tall grass with a mouse (in my defense, that cat has gotten big and fat and was hiding in tall grass).

Autumn’s no slouch this year. Today I wondered if summer even happened. I woke up and the colors had changed, the air seemed to say that it had changed and was gonna stay this way. Tonight the harvest moon hung orange and heavy as if on cue.

A few evenings back, Sara picked the grapes off our vine and I mulled about admiring the late summer weight of the sunflowers the girls had planted in an early summer compromise. Sara and I were going to plant a hedge but the girls no, this is the best spot to launch a sled once the snow flies. Sunflowers were the compromise, a compromise I am grateful for tonight.

At dark, we built a fire on the back deck, snuggled under blankets, and restaged our astronomical ignorance. Of course, Jupiter is the big celebrity this month but the North Star, the dippers, and Cassiopeia are ever present above our house. Running straight above (below?) Cassiopeia is the Milky Way.

The last yellows of summer

If this were July, it’d still be bright and hot. The girls would be off playing. Sara and I would be flitting about taking care of this or that. Exhausted, we’d all head straight from frenzy to slumber. But now, the fire dims and a chill breeze blows past. The four of us adjust under the blanket and giggle about Cassiopeia upside in her chair or what part of the Ursa Major is that star right there.

I love summer evenings, but tonight I welcome the autumn.