Friday, August 31, 2007

Simple Musings At Summer's End








The day here today is rather cloudy, and a 'coolish' 52F\11C, with our normal 10mph\16kph steady breeze carrying all the magnificent aromas of the woods to our door. I was just outside mulling over how soon the autumn foliage will be enchanting us with its rich tapestry of colors as far as the eye can see in every direction. Our summer season here is famously short, and therefore cherished all the more for its fleeting kiss of warmth and greenery. Some of the trees at this elevation have already started to don their fall finery, and most of the flowers are soon to be only a memory and a few bytes in the digicam. The photos above are some of the simple viewing pleasures to be found on the north side, or backyard, of our home. The house shown is our neighbor to the north, and the trees are part of our own little touch of the local forests. The flowers are those tenderly cared for by my gardener wife, and only a small representation of those she coaxes to life each summer without fail. Some are carefully planted, others the product of the mixed wildflower seeds she strews randomly around the yard perimeter. The last photo is the walkway to my Doctor's office.
This time of year signals the ending of most harvests, the beginning of others, such as apples, and the return to school of the shorter members of our community, with heads ready to be stuffed full of new information. For the older students, it's off to college, high school sports, hunting season, and homework woes. How little they realize that the world after school is much the same, without the summer vacation and the fun, but many of the sorrows, that they find in their lives now. The last of the agricultural fairs are wrapping up soon as well, and the roadside vendors and farmer's markets will soon be gone too. In many ways, it's much like the end of one of life's shorter journeys and the beginning of the next.
One of the many things I missed most, while living in other climates, was this rapid switching from one season to the next. I suppose if you've never had it, or disliked the colder days, you'd not miss it a bit. On the other hand, there are those like myself, who find something joyous in every season, even the blizzards, high snow drifts, and biting winds of our normally harsh winters. What better time to view the world, than after nature has painted everything a clean, sparkling white? Or after an ice storm, when the morning sun twinkles through thousands upon thousands of icicles of all sizes clinging effortlessly to the trees. The smell of a wood fire, the warmth of a meal, and conversation shared with good friends on a cold January night, combine to create a glow within the participants like no other.
As fall gives way soon to the cold of winter, so winter eventually wanes as well, allowing the air to come alive with the smell of maple syrup, more wood smoke, and the smell of new life emerging from the fields and forest floor alike. The ice finally goes out, fishing, swimming, boating, and planting, become the activities of the day, and summer is soon behind. Then, after what seems to many the shortest season of all, if we're among the lucky, we're still able to drink in all the beauty that's giving way to the newer beauty of fall. Usually on a cloudy, somewhat 'coolish' day. Perhaps a day not unlike today. Until next time, take care my friends.

8 comments:

Mies said...

Ahhhhh you've come a long way, baby....Well, that's just a saying, but holds true for you with your writing on this blog. If one would read what you wrote this time last year, they would see a real difference in how you write today. You are freer with your words and feelings....You also share more of your present self with us, rather than your just your interesting past...Very good, Mike...Nice story for the end of summer. Fantastic photos too. love the house across the way from you..Thank you....

cwilcox said...

A visit to Mike's Mixed Memories never lets you down. Thanks for that beautiful diversion as I walked with you in your back yard. Jesus Mike, you almost had me thinking winter is a good thing there...just for a minute though. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia said...

That was a nice read, Mike. Almost made me want to be there, but only if I could retreat before real winter sets in. I never want to see those cold mornings again, trying to crank up the car and get somewhere you are supposed to be.
It would be nice, though, If you didn't have to go somewhere, and could just enjoy a snowy morning like kids do. Thanks for the mind pictures.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

This piece really makes me miss the East Coast autumns. Thanks for the reminder, Mike.

Brother Tim said...

Nice piece, Mike.

But living on the Gulf Coast (where the freezing point is 50* farenheit), I couldn't handle the cold. Instead of horrific winters, we have hurricanes.
Ahhhhhh.... The feeling of the wind in your hair and the smell of salt in the air.;)

Hahn at Home said...

What great photos and a great descripton. I join Guy in missing autumn. Thanks, Mike.

Leiselb said...

Oh it's so lovely to read about seasons when we have none....

I really enjoyed this. Well done.

Ann said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing them. I love living in Texas but oh, I do miss the seasons. Guess we can't have everything...