At the post office and the hardware store, in the coffee shop and in the dentist office, the main topic of conversation is whether it will be an early fall this year.
It amazes me how many people who inhabit country settings don’t really live there.
The early fall was announced weeks ago in the chatter of birches and aspen shivering in a gust front, and later in the crackle and clatter of the storm filled brooks tumbling down the Highlands to Long Pond. The sumac along the roadsides are red. A slight breeze is enough to free the seeds from the Queen Anne’s Lace pods. After a summer dispersed along the shores, the geese and black birds have started clanning again in preparation for joining the south-bound flocks.
And on several occasions last week the night sky two hours before dawn was completely still, rivetingly clear, with the canopy of stars so close that if you spread your arms wide you could hold the Northern Cross in one hand and Orion’s sword in the other. Reaching across the galactic arms, bearing the icons of opposing seasons, you could be a new Vitruvian Man, the manifest and measure of both Terra’s natural cycles and of the Milky Way herself.
And that’s what drew you here in the first place, isn’t it?