Shining in the final dance

As each season shines in its final dance, I savor the last recital.

Tonight was no different.

Knowing my pink flip flops were resting in the car right next to my boots, I headed straight to the lake after work.

Once I hit the beach I kicked off my sandals, walking barefoot in the sand.

One last time.

Later splashing with a final jog in the water.

But the chill of the late September breeze soon brushed my shoulders.

And my cold toes were sensing the water’s cooler than a week ago.

My eyes seeing the shadows are now longer.

Yet it was a perfect evening, with the trees debuting fall colors of red and gold.

I noticed the lake was particularly quiet this night.

Just a few small fishing boats in the distance.

My nose soon turned towards the smell of warm burgers and fries at the new bar and grill, but there were few takers for the premium seats outside.

I walked instead towards the turquoise Adirondack chairs sparkling in the only sunny patch of grass left in front of the ice cream store.

The chairs were empty.

So was the shop.

The ivy, hanging on tight to the stucco of the yoga studio above, proudly in full bloom with deep burgundy.

The once green leaves now a fading memory.

I took one last look at the final summer display, paying my respects with my chocolate yogurt cone held in the air.

Walking slowly back to my car, I was serenaded by the Great Horned Owl in the old oak tree.

He was singing his fall mating call, “Hoot-Hoot, Hoot-Hoot”.

But this is a concert performance normally scheduled for November.

So I’ve just put the snow brush back in the car.

As I believe my autumn has already comfortably settled in.

Change is a coming

Every year it slaps me in the face.

Though this year, a little earlier than usual.

As I write this, the sleeves of my faded sweatshirt are covering my knuckles.

And the hood is pulled up tight over over my ears, cutting out the early morning chill.

It’s in the 30s again this morning but I refuse to turn on the heat.

At least yet.

Here in the northern plains, seasons change quickly.

Six days ago I was in shorts, seeking shade as shelter from the heat.

This morning I’m a squirrel stocking up for the winter, busily constructing my shopping list with supply items for the months head:

Canned soup, the spicier the better.
Squash, an excuse to turn on the oven.
Apples, so I can eat caramels.
Caramels, so I will eat more apples.
Cider, just for its sweet scent.
Kleenex, a seasonal staple.
Cough drops, as hacking’s replaced the sound of birds chirping.
Books, never too many.
Boots, and not as a fashion statement.

I still haven’t planned my summer vacation.

Instead I’ll be celebrating the arrival of the fall equinox with a furnace inspection next weekend.

One warm and fuzzy substitute for sure.