Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Gentle Change of Seasons

I love this time of year when one season slowly transforms into another. The days grow shorter and the sun sinks a little closer to the horizon with each passing day. The heat and humidity of summer begins to back off and tantalizingly cool breezes begin to make their presence known as quiet reminders that change is in the air.

Nature senses the changes, too. Birds begin gathering in flocks on power lines near sunset. Deer become more visible grazing everywhere there is an open field or a bird feeder with some seed still remaining.

Skies begin to change as well. Deep blue replaces the milky hue that summer often brings. Somehow the air seems clearer at this time of the year. Perhaps it is because after several months of searing temperatures and those milky skies we have forgotten the deep blue nature of the space above us. Sunsets seem more brilliant and are often punctuated with fair weather clouds floating on the horizon.

As night falls, the temperature falls with it. Windows that welcomed the fresh air into the house during the day quickly come down as the cool, damp air of the evening flows through the screens. Somehow, at this time of year, the nights seem a little darker, a little more mysterious. The nighttime sky becomes awash in stars. Constellations dot the firmament with a brilliance that was lost in summertime humidity. The winter blanket of stars begin to make their appearance led by the king of them all Orion.

Leaves begin to tumble from their summer homes as trees prepare for the coming cold of winter. Vibrant colors, there all along, although covered by the green of chlorophyll in the summer, are spectacularly revealed. As the breeze blows, they dance upon their branches as if to bring the world's attention to them in their last days of existence. Once freed from their lofty perches, they float innocently to the ground where squirrels and birds forage for seeds more hurriedly because the chill of Autumn is in the air.

Oh, there still are warm days ahead, but those days are fewer and farther in between. The warmth comes as a reminder that the seasons do not depart easily. But time moves on and so does human existence. The seasons present a rhythm to our lives that we barely notice. Our patterns of living change according to the season. As the year grows more into fall, we move indoors against the lower temperatures and deepening nights. Our diets change. We become reacquainted with more indoor activities as the world outside continues to evolve toward winter.

But, for now, the glory that is the season of Autumn, is on display. There is a sense of peace in this and a sense of comfort in knowing of the consistency of the seasonal changes. It is a time of year to celebrate the bounty of summer and the beauty of nature seen in momentary displays of spectacular colors that mankind could never reproduce.

Autumn. A season of change. A season of delight!