Fall

A gentle breeze stirs the thick humid air.  The taunting chant of the cicadas that just two weeks ago was a deafening symphony of heat song, is now only a small, scattered ensemble.  Soon, they will be silent, and we may not even notice that they’ve gone.

Sweat curls the hair of my children as they run, the golden light of the late summer sun glistening on their tanned arms.  The light of the sun is just a bit softer, just a bit more golden, as the sun gradually sneaks to the south.  The pure white heat of summer has softened ever so slightly into that soft  filtered gold.    Today, the temperature on the bank sign across the street reads 94.  Not long ago, it was flashing 102.

Summer dies a slow, long death here.  We are never quite sure when it will be down for good.  And then we will move into the cold muddiness that is winter.  Winter? Not really a season here, just a brief grayness, with the pecans having dropped their brown flimsy leaves in to the puddles below.  Winter is only a comma between the run-on sentences of Southern summers.

But today, there is just the slightest hint that soon we will be reveling in the two or three wonderful weeks of Fall!  Cool, dry air, brown leaves to kick into piles, the non-native tallow trees, with their show of reds and yellows.  They are foreigners here, and they do like to show off their bright colors amid the browns and grays of our bare oaks and pecans.

It won’t be long, and it’s certainly not New England, but here in the deepest, hottest part of the South, we have learned to embrace and cherish  the gift of Fall. 

And a quiet hawk draws loose circles in the sky above us.

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