I didn’t have to look at the calendar to know what day it was. I could feel it. The first day of September.
The Griffin chair on my stoop has become my favorite spot to sit with a cup or chalice and allow Nature to touch me. Screened by a wrought iron trellis of spent clematis blooms, I can be slightly veiled from the wild ones who stop by the feeders or sip from throats of flowers too tenacious to wither in the cool flow of morning air.
Alvin and Rocky scurry near my bare feet that are dusted by the hem of my long black skirt. Heedless of the fact that Chipmunks and Ground Squirrels are the sort who greet each other politely, but don’t make dates to ‘do lunch’, they are willing to share the table I set before them. A mason jar sits along side my chair so that when my guests come to visit, a quick pop of the lid is all it takes to scatter the treasure of the mix of nuts, seeds and bits of dried fruit. Alvin’s cheeks are bulging with his cache of the loot to the point that he appears to be smiling at me…in fact, I know that he is.
Rocky looks dry and fluffy again after his near drowning incident. It was in this very spot that I sat one evening enjoying the last piece of cranberry orange cheesecake that my daughter had made for my birthday. Suddenly, Alvin and Rocky came darting from beneath my limelight hydrangeas and jumped up onto the ledge of the pond. This game of tag ended badly when Rocky ran too close to the edge and toppled in. He struggled to climb out on a Lilly pad, but he was too panic stricken and heavy with water to lift himself high enough. I grabbed my empty plate and placed it beneath his sodden little body and lifted him to safety. His pride was as dampened as he was. Hiding behind a fern, he began to lick his fur in an attempt to avoid the evidence of this embarrassing and frightening event. He has all but forgotten it now…or hopes that any witnesses have.
I inhale deeply of air on the edge of Autumn and instinctively wrap my invisible cloak around my shoulders. A secret vow between me and the Great Mother seals my pledge to frequent this spot daily, even if for a just few minutes. In fact, I know I will have to or go mad from the desire to do so should I be tempted to allow the clang of mundane life with its screeching wheels and shrill alarms to interfere. The bliss of this experience and resulting euphoria will surely have me ‘jonsing’ for this fix…not the ‘fix’ from drugs that slaughter the mind and rip wide the spirit…but a true ‘fix’. A fix for stress, a fix for fatigue, a fix for anything that might ail me.
So, how long before the sky reflects the hues of turning leaves? Each one the colorful, karmic chameleon of the Trees, beginning with a shy, light blush that soon gives way to a bold, shimmery, show girl shade of raging scarlet. Country roads will tie it all up in black winding ribbons that beg to be unraveled by convertible, rag top down days. Nothing is as glorious as zoom, zooming down the back roads in my husband’s little red sports car, my black chiffon scarf whipping wildly behind me.
The ending of Summer is the beginning of the best that is yet to come. At least it is for me. No fan of heat and humidity, the time I spend out doors is short lived until the temperature dips below 80 or I can find an expanse of shade. The quickening of my heart and stirring of my spirit opens my senses shamelessly. I sniff the breeze and the scents of damp soil, moss and mushrooms intoxicate me. Everything feels deep and cavernous with many places to explore.
Mabon rites will mark the first day of Fall and Samhain on October 31st will be the last of the Harvest holidays. Traditions will be kept and new ones created, for every experience has the potential to be remembered and celebrated. As does this one, right here, right now.