With school closed , this past Monday-and me having had a four day holiday in Wilmington, time defied gravity and flew, this week. Mornings were golden , making even, a tattered cornfield lovely at dawn. Most every day, a blanket of fog hangs just over the soil, giving ordinary fields a hallowed look. Soybeans are yellow and could be mistaken for flowers if looked at hurriedly. Leaves are starting to be strewn in the road and the grass does not grow as quickly as it did in midsummer. Today, is the first day of autumn, after all.
I have come to love every season, but autumn is my favorite right now. Being fickle, I will declare my favorite is winter when it snows-and when it is spring-well I proclaim it is surely the most beautiful time in the world-until it is summer. I think in some way, seasons prepare us for next one. The wicked heat of late summer makes me yearn for a chilly day and so I look forward to the time of soft blankets and small fires. Suppers will feature chowders and hearty soups and I am more likely to bake breads once autumn makes it presence known.
The warm weather is still lingering for now. The horses that graze in quiet pastures are still sleek and the shade of the sycamores is only slightly less dense than it was in July. Just the lightest and daintiest sweaters are worn now, and only in the first hours of day. Seldom does any dramatic change herald a new season, but one thing I have noted is that the days are remarkably shorter.
I left right after school, on Friday for Elizabeth City. Will and Jenny, being young, have all sorts of social functions and so I would stay with Lyla. I had planned on a evening walk with Lyla, but darkness fell and so suddenly it seemed.
I missed the early service. The sun had claimed its’ space boldly, by the time I got up. Lyla, is an early riser and is ready for her day, the minute she wakes. I had told her the night before we would have pancakes for breakfast and she brought that up as I was having my first coffee.
Not long after pancakes and honey, Will took Lyla to the little park just a short walk away. It is the same park where Lyla and I fed the wild geese in summer. I waved good bye to Lyla from the kitchen window, where a dogwood grows. I noticed that the once jade green leaves of the young tree, were now an apricot color in spots. The tree now has an abundance of bright red berries, too. Cardinals love the berries.
The coolness of the morning was fleeting and by the time they got back, it was hot. The “laughing river” was very blue today and in no hurry to go anywhere. There wasn’t a bit of breeze to change its’ mind, either. Will and Lyla left again and went to a little league baseball game, a fruit stand and then visited with his mom, Miss Claudia. Jenny worked on school assignments while I did some light housekeeping. The morning, like the laughing river, hadn’t a bit of rush about it . . and I liked that.
The afternoon was hot and still. Lyla and I did not stroll til the evening because of that. When we did, there was a slight cool, breeze. . .but it was not enough to disturb the peace of the river. The mighty Pasquotank looked like glass and liable to shatter if anyone dared to toss a stone -or sneeze. We walked to where we first saw the bats, in late spring. In June, we watched hundreds of bats swoop and dive in unison. It was a spectacular aerial expression that was mezmorizing. We did not see a single bat this night. I wondered if they, like many songbirds had migrated south where fruit is still ripening. When the moon came up, Lyla found it first and said “look Honey Bee, it’s a little moon!”-and she was right as only a slice of moon hung in the vast dark sky. . .and it did look small-and reminded me of a lantern.
The village was quiet as we walked. Not even a dog barked in the distance. The only sign of life was the lamps burning bright in the windows of both cottages and manor homes, alike. It always makes me happy to think that folks are safely gathered in.
We may wander about on bright days and see all sorts of people and do all sorts of things. . .but when night falls, we remember where we belong, and those that belong to us. We come home to where things are familiar and predictable . . where supper is cooking while a cat sleeps in a corner-and a light shines bright in the window.
Dear Diary, I am glad for still water and little moons. I am glad for new seasons and sweet memories of those passed. I am glad for dogwoods and red berries in clusters of autumn -colored leaves.