Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Farewell to the Fat Lady

Just when I think that I can no longer stand the heat and pulsing humid breath of summer in my face, just when I can no longer bear the light of the sun washing everything bright white, summer begins its departure. I have changed my rhythm to moving very slowly or at least, determinedly, toward whatever destination awaits in the shade where the air does not feel as though it is pushing on me like a wet blanket smothering whatever initiative I had before I left the house. I have portioned my chores into smaller units and no longer feel that I must weed each and every flower bed. The flowers are bending low from heavy rains or turning to rust or just forming heavy seed pods. The goldfinch have eaten most of the zinnias to bristly heads. The butterflies are the only ones who continue to dance like feathers across the lawn. Perhaps it is because they know how short their life is.

The garden holds the fall colors of red and yellow tomatoes and hot peppers and spaghetti squash and beans. The greens are gray and tired or turning to parchment beige. The insects no longer sing happy rhythms. They buzz with intensity like burning saws as though they were beginning the cutting of firewood for the cold nights ahead. All sound is dizzy percussion.

And then it happens. When I wipe my glistening brow as I pause from the harvest and look up at the tree tops and the sky, I notice something so slightly different that I cannot identify what it is. The angle of the sun has changed, the color of the sky is a different blue, and the high tops of the tulip trees begin to fan a cool breeze my way tossing a golden leaf here and there in the process. The cooler air kisses my hot forehead. I now realize that it is summer that has packed her heavy trunk and is dragging it away up the driveway followed by the sound of dried leaves in the wind. Suddenly I miss her and wish she would stay just a little longer.


Barry said...

Linda and I were just commenting on that the other day (although not as charmingly as you have just done) and mourning the passing of a season that never really got to visit with us this year.

Hilary said...

I refuse to listen to the fat lady sing. I have my fingers in my ears and my feet firmly planted in summer, thank you very much.

Eloquently stated though.. as always. :)

Linda said...

A whole long story here. It is a beautiful, descriptive story too. I love the reference to the goldfinch and the butterflies in the first paragraph. In the next paragraph it was the bees cutting wood and in the final paragraph summer just heads off down the driveway and leaves. You are a talented writer. I am seriously waiting for your book.

Dave King said...

I think we are all (round here, anyway)a little miffed by the ultra-early onset of Autumn following the non-appearance of summer, but you at least have crafted some beauty from the sadness. Thanks.

One Woman's Journey said...

Once again on line and enjoying your sharing. You never fail to put a smile on my face. It seems like it was summer one and over night I can feel fall in the air.

Angie said...

What a lovely, lovely post!! You have such a gift with words, girlfriend!

Kerri said...

I'm missing summer already, and its only been gone a day.
I think I'll join Hilary and refuse to listen to the fat lady :)
Beautifully descriptive writing as always, Tabor. Wish I could do it as well.
Love your picture too.