Sign of Time

Sunset from the porch.

Summer isn’t giving up yet. Nope, not yet. The trees are still sporting a full green suit. Daytime temperatures are squarely in the 80°s. Charcoal and lighter fluid scent evening strolls on most nights.

There’s still no requirement for sweaters in the evening. I think we’ll have weeks until that morning when you look at the basil and it is a black-green from the cold.

That said, the earth is still circling on it’s crooked axis around the sun and moving our hemisphere out of summer. While a sweater is not required, it is not unwelcome by bare arms, either.

The peaches and sweet corn are long done and the tomatoes are less heavy. You can plant those fancy lettuces without them burning up or bolting. The pools are closed. The traffic is back to heavy.

But mostly, it’s the day itself. Long days are gone. They’re tucking in earlier and earlier. I wake up just as the sun is chasing out the last shadows, when a few weeks ago the sun shook me awake.

It’s the end of the day that I notice the most. Last week I stepped out of my office into the opening strains of the dusk overture. This week when I walk to the train, I am steeped in dusk. Dinner, that is served at the same time according to the clock, isn’t making it to the table until after nightfall. The candles that were for show are now for light.

I love the fall. I love all parts of it. It might be my favorite season. Except. Except the thieving of my day. Of the shrinking of time. Of the march to the darkness of winter.

But the autumn sunsets are the most beautiful. The oranges are the most orange and the streaks of pink are the brightest against the indigo sky that reaches to infinity. So as the days seem to collapse on themselves, the sky opens up. And soon, I’ll look up and see my old friend Orion who’ll guide me through these months of short days.