Thursday, August 19, 2010

Turn of the Season

Summer should still be in full swing. After all, we still have more than a month of it left (if only by a couple of days). However, don't we all feel on some level that Fall begins so much earlier in reality than it does on the calendar?

For me, there are indicators that trigger in me a deep and abiding desire for Fall. Stores get the back to school displays up, full of unsharpened pencils, uncapped pens, reams of blank notebooks, all fresh and waiting for the eager new scholars. grocery stores (and for my family only Acme carries the right kind) have towering displays of orange cookie boxes, all full of spiced wafers, redolent with fall spices and scents. Orchards and farm stand feature abundant displays of apples, pumpkins, corn stalks, and the like. Evenings get that flirty taste of cooler weather, and suddenly we no longer feel like we are going to burst into flame as we exit our homes. The summer season gets tired, faded, overblown and has overstayed its welcome.

Suddenly, I find I am tired of swimming, short sleeves, cold meals, and the scent of the ground baking in the hot sun. I am longing for blankets on the bed, crickets slowly chirping in the chilly night, fires in the fireplace, big pots of warm soup, candles scented with maple and cinnamon. I dream of putting away the summer decorations and adorning my home with fire-colored leaves, sunflowers, nuts, and frosted grapes. I want mugs of steaming cider, glasses of smokey scotch, warm flannel nightgowns, and thick cozy socks.

August is drifting away, September is looming before me. Only 14 days to the Arden Fair, a true indicator that things of Summer are ready to be put away, and Fall is ready to take the stage. I am ready to crack open those clean notebook pages, sharpen the pencils and get to the business of colder weather, home and hearth. The lazy days of summer are wearing on me, I am ready for the industry of harvest, the preparation for the cold days of winter. It is time to shake the sand from my toes, don my shoes and shuffle through crackling leaves.

I feel the turn of the season, even though when I walk outside it is unarguably still summer weather. I still plan the last minute trips to the beach, trying to bank up as much sun as I can. And yet, in my heart of hearts I am already longing for the change. I am ready to cozy down into my nest for the next phase of the year. Summer has been fun, longed for in the misery of last Winter, reveled over and enjoyed, but its time is over.

Funny, how it works that I am so ready for the next season. Fall will go so swiftly with its apple picking, Halloween preparations, Thanksgiving, leaf raking, bonfires, and hayrides. Will I be as ready for Winter?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quiet Midnight

Here I sit, just after midnight. The house is quiet, all are asleep, except for me. For the last few nights I have found it impossible to fall asleep easily. So, here I sit.

There is a peace to the house this time of day. It feels good to know that those nearest and dearest to my heart are not far away, and are at peace themselves. The house has a feel to it, full but quiet that soothes me. While I would love to be slumbering away in my room, there is a pleasure to tapping away at my computer at the kitchen counter too.

I can remember how my mother would wake up long before the sun each day. I never understood why she would do it, when it only meant a nap in the afternoon and an early bedtime. Yet, each morning she would get up long before anyone else, make a pot of coffee, and read the paper. These nights give me a little insight into why those mornings were so needed for her. I can imagine the peace of the house, the way the sun would slowly brighten the sky, how the peace would be broken by our waking and the day beginning in earnest.

There is a little selfishness in my insomnia. While there are times when I find it a burden, and I fight it, there are times when it is an unique gift. When my days are filled with child, husband, house, family, church, village, bills, errands, cleaning, meals, and all the static of daily life, what a luxury to have a few quiet hours to myself. The knowledge that until it is time for me to go to bed I have nobody to please but myself is beyond value. Insomnia, my indulgence, my curse.

I think I may be ready to sleep now, morning comes so early. I have had my quiet moment of reflection, now I want to sleep. Tonight, will insomnia be my co-conspirator, or my foe? Only the dawn will tell......