The pumpkins are in the patch.
The fall always gets me to thinking. I’m busy, of course, and my mind is almost always racing, but the coloring of leaves and the evening which descends earlier and earlier into the day, always makes me slow down. I find myself at eight o’clock saying, “Where did the day go?” Then, it is seven, and then six. Day light sneaks away sooner and sooner, like she’s rushing out on a date. Time passes so quickly. The day—both figuratively and literally—is fleeting.
I reflect on aging and death during this season. Transition. Change. The longer nights get me to thinking about how I so value light. I begin to recall memories of summertime Frisbee in the street eeking out every bit of the twilight until almost 11 o’clock, and coming into the house sweating and laughing. I think of the summer years of my life growing up on the Virginia coast, the exuberant years of adolescence, catching a wave on a fast Laser sailboat, playing tennis until midnight with my best friend John Warren, the pop and fizzle of steaks on the grill, ice cream cake on my birthday, boiled clams and hot butter, July Fourth sparklers, leaning over the flowerbeds eating watermelon, juice sliding off our chins, spitting seeds, the smell of salt water on muggy nights.
In the fall, I appreciate the stars more. They and the pale moon soften the evenings. The words of St. Francis draw my awe and appreciation into the words of his prayer:
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
In the fall we locate the extra quilts for the beds. We put pine straw on the flowers in their own beds. True southerners enjoy boiled peanuts at the football games; the rest of us having never acquired either a taste or the courage to try, happily munch popcorn. Some of us squeeze the most out of baseball season by watching world series hopefuls swing for the fences.
The pumpkins are in the patch. I’ll see you there this fall.
I was born and raised in the sight of water in Hampton, Virginia. I was baptized and nurtured in the Presbyterian church. There was never a time when weekly worship attendance, the giving of ...