Every September we find ourselves right back in this place. That place between Summer and Autumn. That place where storefronts begin teasing us with mannequins wrapped in sweaters, and coffee shops begin peddling pumpkin spice everything. Where purple evenings begin to slightly cool, only to give way to warm, humid, sunny days. This torturous seasonal limbo, is our slow return to Autumn.
And while I am absolutely ready to step out into crisp morning air, to bundle my sons in sweatshirts and head for the golden woods, I am making it a point this year to relish this slow return. It is this very longing for the season that makes it all the more sweeter once it arrives.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns. – George Eliot
So, Mr. Eliot, while I applaud your deep, abiding love for the Fall, I cannot agree with your sentiment. No. I say let the quiet glory of Autumn fly to us! Let him roam the earth, seeking out the poets, the lovers, the curators of quiet life. Let Autumn seek us out. Let him grow fond of our doting. Let him come to anticipate the season in which he is allowed to return to our shores, to bask in our words as we immortalize his fiery hues with pen and ink.
I say come Harvest Moon, that we might walk in your evening light. Come October, that we might dance out in the fields among the golden grains. Come Autumn, that we might speak softly of you to our sons, watching your fires dance in their eyes, igniting in them a passion that has stirred the hearts of men for centuries. And may our fondness create in you a zeal to return to us with the passing of each year.
And so we wait for you our faithful friend. And you’ll know where to find us, sitting quietly at our windows, trying to catch a glimpse of the season’s first turning. Perched on our porches, noses searching for a hint of your fires in the air. At the corner cafe table, coffee steam dancing above our heads in silver ribbons.
The Slow, Quiet Return
Long beards and wool sweaters,
our bare feet stretched out in front of us,
toes popping in the cold here on morning’s porch
Coffee steam and pipe tobacco mingle above our heads,
dancing in a silver ribbon, curling and jumping
with the tuft of a spoken word.
Autumn, our faithful friend;
you can find us here whispering, waiting.
The poets, the curators of quiet life,
lingering still, as the sun goes down across the lawn
just beyond our front steps. -A. Zodrow