I noticed the first ones started showing up in late-September. I was running home along Riverview - the water to my right and the farm to my left - and three sat atop the fence that lined the way. Weeks later, a patch of them blossomed up on Van Vranken. Now, partway through October, they're everywhere. My favorite time of year, captured perfectly in one bright orange symbol.
It's like summer grinds to a halt just as the leaves begin to let go of their branches. One day, it's hot and humid, with the sun burning bright into the seventh hour of the evening. The next, the air pushes in with a chill and the trees cast the longest shadows of the year. October is here and the leaves fall to the floor in a pool of reds, yellows, and oranges.
Blue light pours into the window as I stand by the stove top, boiling water for my cup of instant coffee. It's eerily quiet in the house now that the nights are too cold to leave the windows open; the only sound is that of the tinkling water in the kettle. On the one hand, I miss the early morning cacophony of backyard birdsong, but on the other, I think of my two kids asleep in their beds, hoping I won't wake them as I go about my preparations and slowly slip out the door.Read More
A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Leaves, logs, turtles, and frogs. I run along the river's edge practically every day now, always giving a nod to the neighborhood critters. In these closing days of summer, I think of the marathon I'll race in the fall - the cool winds, the blowing leaves, and the dampness that will hang in the air come October. For now, the days are still warm enough that my friend, the painted turtle, can enjoy a little spot in the sun while I run on by (not too unlike the hare).
Labor Day is in view, and in its shadow, the beginning of the end of summer. Standing on the shore of Cazenovia Lake, I think back to all of those adolescent summers spent buzzing around town; finding trouble with friends; and feeling like those days would never end. More than twenty years later, the sun still looks the same as it goes down behind the lake's western shore.
The air shakes and the wind blows about. Engines roar overhead. Clouds swirl within a sea of deep blue marble. For a moment I lose myself, wondering how everything's been tipped upside down; looking up, as an airplane passes over the ocean above me.