Mid-day yesterday during a break in the desk work (that never seems to end) and in anticipation of my piano teacher coming to the front door shortly after 6:00PM, I ventured out to sweep. That entrance to the house is the least used of the four and tends to gather leaves, mud daubers and spider webs. While I was at it, I also swept the walk from the porch to the driveway – that too narrow stretch of concrete, also neglected, littered with magnolia leaves and the remains of the crepe myrtle’s long season of flowering. In less than ten minutes I had worked up a bit of a sweat.
At the appointed hour, when I went to the door to greet my ever patient teacher, I was astounded. The temperature had dropped drastically. There was a hint of fall in the light breeze. My visitor was animated with joy, hardly able to contain herself. We stood on the steps breathing it in before entering the house and settling at the piano.
Of course, hints of the change of season have been regular of late. I’ve just not quite noticed them to the point of truly seeing them. Vines erupting off the tops of untended signs and fence posts, slender arches of growth groping for nonexistent support. The tall grasses beyond the ditches along the roadsides in full seed, golden when backlit in the early morning and late afternoon sun. Leaves assembling in asphalt and concrete eddies along cart paths on the golf course and neighborhood streets.
Yesterday afternoon was my wakeup call; last evening my end of summer alarm clock went off. I’m not a fan of summer. A better way to say that, I suppose, is that summer is not my favorite season. But, there is definitely part of me that hates to see it go. I shall miss especially being touched by how fast everything grows – from the grass around the house to the young pines along the driveway, their several growth spurts through the spring and summer months truly remarkable.
But, the hints of the end of summer and those feelings of loss are also – and importantly – hints of the beginning of fall, a very wonderful time of year in its own right. Slowing. Looking inward. Simplifying. Now that the end of summer alarm has sounded, I’ll be paying better attention. I hope.