Today is the first day of autumn. In my hemisphere that signals shorter days, cooling weather, leaves turning color and then dropping, and animals preparing to hunker down for the cold, dark days to come.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the colors of nature. I love the feeling of soft sweaters and the comfort of holding a warm beverage between my hands. I love the brisk breezes that bring a crisp freshness to the air. I love the sound and sight of geese flying in formation across the sky as they noisily make their way south for warmer climes.
Autumn is a time of turning inward. Trees draw their sap downward to protect them from the cold weather to come. Squirrels “squirrel away” acorns and walnuts. Preparations are made for upcoming hibernations. Homeowners might turn their attention to weather-proofing, making sure cold drafts won’t seep in around windows and under doors this winter.
For me, there will be fewer outdoor projects and more time for dusting off and opening those books I’ve intended to read all summer. There will be more careful consideration of making use of daylight, as my poor night vision restricts my ability to venture out in the dark.
There will hopefully be less fur flying about the house as my American Eskimo dog settles into his winter coat. Maybe that’s asking too much, though.
I am perhaps at risk of spending too much time turned inward. Introspection can be very healthy and helpful, but — like anything — it must be done in balance. My personal challenge will be to venture out when I am most tempted to stay at home.
As I write this, a squirrel has climbed into the planter box by my front door and is peeking through the picture window. My dog Chules, perched in his favorite spot atop a glass end table, lazily returns the squirrel’s gaze. Fortunately – for all of us – Chules is only mildly curious about small critters and usually leaves them in peace.
The sky is cloudy, but my “wind gauge,” the drooping branches of the tall fir in my neighbor’s yard, indicates only a slight breeze this morning.
Chules tells me with heavy sighs and pointed stares that it’s time for his walk. I would love to take him to the community park a couple of miles away or to the semi-scenic Burnt Bridge Creek trail, but his foot is slightly injured so we will settle for a short jaunt around the neighborhood. It will feel good. We both need to get outdoors and stretch our legs.
The squirrel has skipped away across the slowly greening lawn and crows have swooped down to see what the squirrel may have left behind. Chules drops from his perch and nabs the napkin off my breakfast plate. He is rightfully commanding my attention. Season to season, some things remain constant. Chules and I are off for our walk.
The Daily Post daily one-word prompt: Leaf