The sun is shinning, the sky is blue and I am ready for my morning walk. One short mile, as fast as I can, around the two local schools. I head out even though I hear the wind through the windows. I know the temperature has dropped over night but we have still not had that deep heavy frost. We are hovering between 31 degrees in the wind and 40 in a protected sunny spot.
I make it up the short hill and head east with the wind at my back. My scarf is blowing and I am glad I have chosen the felted mittens over the small stretch gloves. As I round the second corner and head west the full force of the wind hits me in the face. It takes my breath away and I slow to steady myself against its force. The wind coming from the northwest is making small leaf tornados in the path before me.
It is a reminder that winter is coming and fall is well on its way out. The leaves are being forced by the wind to leave the trees bare. The dark brown structure of the trees are left to stand guard over the garden for the winter. The flowers are browning at the edges wherever they remain. The leaves pile up along the fences and the Spice bush has finally turned red at the top.
Last night I wondered the front garden after dark hunting for the last good flowers to cut and bring into the house. There were a few yellow Mums, three Calendula and two roses ready to open. They now sit on the dinning room table in a small vase.
Next years tulips are all planted, all 125 of them. I can tell by the slight ache in my back. The hoses have been disconnected. The raised beds are almost clear – waiting for the hard frost to kill the Nasturtiums and hoping the carrots I planted in early August my grow just a bit more in the last of the beds. The raspberries, the new red stem Dogwood and the perennials in the rock garden have been mulched hoping to protect them from the harsh winter cold.
The seasons are turning as they do each year. It is easy to see and feel the external movement when you live in the north land. The colors go from shades of green to shades of yellows and reds. Then quickly to browns and finally end and begins the new year with a world of white. The temperature follows along going from summer heat to cool fall and then the deep freeze of winter.
We are in mid transition now – it is Autumn. Everything is half way between the long green summer days and the long crips cold winter nights. As people we are also riding this seasonal turn. The switching of clothes, the adding of blankets to the bed and turning the heat on and the lights come on by 5:30 pm if you want to see what you are doing. Some of us are moving from outdoor activities to indoor. (Hmm – should I be looking for an indoor track for my morning walks?)
I know as the weeks past that I will complain about the cold and by February I will be tried of the white, my arthritic hands will hurt and I will long for spring. I will crave the seasonal change once more. I will be looking for the first warm days, the first sign of green anywhere in the garden.
I hate to admit it but it is the seasonal changes that keep me happy. The change in the play of light and temperature. The repeated battle with nature to keep a garden growing in the northland. The inspiration of the trees as they stand through the heavy winter weather and then easily green up each spring to smile at us through the summer.
So although I was swearing at the wind this morning as I rounded that second corner I was also smiling as I felt the seasons turn a corner one more time, felt the power that nature has to continue its death and growth cycle each year. I felt blessed to be here on this earth for another year.