One to See the Other

I expect the annual autumn ritual. The shift in late August air. I smell of fall trying to sneak behind my back. I ignore it. I know summer’s best has yet to show. Their tug of war begins. But it’s kind of nature to signal ahead so I won’t be surprised.

I collect my favorite summer items. One by one seashells return to baskets elsewhere. Striped lemonade pitcher finds its cold weather home at the back of a cupboard. Bright apple green bottles and vases are wrapped to store till spring shouts for them again. Come back! Long dreamy sun drenched days ahead.

Tomatoes are picked for canning. Too many arrived too late for barbecue and burgers. They'll find their way to stew and sauce to warm a winter gloom. Peaches will blush again in January jam, fragrant summer passed. See ya, tequila, lemons and limes. Margarita in winter? I shake my head no.

It’s hard to store my summer heart. Feeling like someone wrestled away my favorite toy. Closest friend turned her back on me. Lowering sun and loneliness on the prowl. Single turned leaf floats from tree to grass. Nothin’ left to say.

Bye-bye baseball and post-season dreams. Did I expect to sail on sunny magic and imagination? I guess not. But expecting and hoping, while not the same, reside together in cramped quarters. Think I grabbed one to find out later it's the other I'm clinging to. Discovered by the ache that's left behind.

When hope has run its course, disappointment settles in its tracks. Creeping year-end sadness bringin' up the rear. Summer really scrammed. Yearning, pining in its wake. Not as warm, or welcoming.

Winter solstice comes on fast after a certain time. The best part’s knowin’ days get longer only at their shortest. 

Winter rain will fill rivulets and streams and when I hear the rush of water streaming down the creek bed out behind the house, though I’ll be cold and damp, umbrella raised against the season I dislike most, I will know what hides around the corner of my calendar.

Pitchers and catchers will signal dots and dashes till the whole darned gang shows up. I will smell first cut grass that waded and waited for temperature to rise so it could too. We'll mow it down and breathe it in. Our lust for spring full bloom. Play ball!

It will all begin brand new. The dreaming and hoping, and lingering days we think won't end.

Until they do. So we can renew during winter’s damp slumber our love of awakening. Dark and light paired, one to see the other.                                     

"The Green Fields of the Mind" 
~A. Bartlett Giamatti


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