The Seasons of the year usually come so quietly that we’re far into the next one before we sense its coming. But this year I can almost name the hour when Autumn arrived for me, and, it was so meaningful, that I cling to it.
It happened on a very ordinary day as I sat at my computer, busy writing, when suddenly I was aware of a silence, so deep and soft that I could ‘hear’ it. Seemed as though my world were standing still.
It startled me and I pushed back my chair and stood, acutely aware and wondering if something had happened that I hadn’t heard, or if something were going to happen. You see, it was more than just a lack of noise, for I was in the midst of some velvety-soft unfamiliar experience.
Then I heard a dog bark that seemed to come from across the pasture that is now a golf course, and as I pondered the sound. I also wondered why, my mind had reverted to the old time name of cow pasture. Then there came the muffled sound of a car-door slamming shut. and I heard two kids (Whose kids? Mine?) calling out to each other.
I don’t live in a secluded area, but trees, bushes and a golf course surround three sides of my home and as most sounds from the busy street are muffled, I, and the wildlife, give it the boundaries it demands, and otherwise ignore it. But this was different.
It was an other-worldly silence, as if the daily routine noises had been suddenly switched OFF so that something important could happen. I stepped to a window and found I was not alone, for there at the lawn’s edge, a usually super-shy quail was part of my moment, for even with me at the window, a movement which always sends him running, he stepped confidently to a dry spot for a dust bath.
It was obviously familiar territory to him and as a cloud of dust rose, he fluffed his wings and noisily clucked to his mate to come and join him. She finally came out of the bushes, and as he stepped aside for her, she took a few bored scratches, but was obviously unimpressed and walked, not scampered, back into her cover. He watched her for a moment, and then took over the fun and never repeated his invitation. I almost laughed aloud.
It was an enchanted time, and I decided that if this is how God chose to open Autumn’s door for me, I would show my appreciation and pulled my chair to a window that overlooks many trees, and within a moment saw two deer and rejoiced, for they have not ‘visited’ as often as they once did. Or just maybe I haven’t taken time to be silent, to look, and to see. I don’t know why, but the silence of Autumn that day had given them the bravery to step out into the open. In the daylight. And it was good.
Autumn. Yes, and as I watched today’s life in my yard, I was suddenly a child again, walking home from school, and aware of different aromas coming from the homes I passed. The Woolseys, Dickeys, Hills, Parks, one by one, and knew those wonderful smells came from what was being ‘canned’ in each home, in preparation for their winter meals.
I recognized the wonderful aromas of tomatoes, peaches, pears, pickles, and a feeling of Home, Security, and the Promise of Plenty throughout the winter, engulfed that child so securely that, years later, the entire incident was recalled.
The velvet silence remained and I knew that the deer, quail, and the memories, as well as the aromas, sights and sounds were all omens of Autumn. And, I also recalled that when I was a child, you needn’t have asked any family what they were doing at this time of the year, for you knew that everyone, in some way, was ‘getting ready for winter’.
The men with their animals, butchering, reaping, storing, and the women ‘putting up fruit’, and with no difference from home to home. Getting ready for winter, was what Autumn was then for. And today I wonder at how quickly our lives have changed.
Yes, I can almost name the hour when Autumn arrived for me this year, and with it the memories of Autumns of yesterday, yesteryear, and of another world, as well as today. Time stood still for me as the world quietly turned a corner, changing from summer to autumn and I was lucky enough to be aware of its wonder.
Hope ‘turning the corner’ was as poignant and memory filled for you as it was for me. That just maybe, some of your thoughts or memories, are the same as mine, for they were good, filled with comfort, and a knowing that, no matter what the media says, All Is Well and Good With This World. TYG.