Summer is a memory.  Everyone is sighing at the slightest reminder that at one point in the last four months we wore shorts and short sleeves.  The sun makes shorter appearances and we down our vitamin D in deference to its current cycle.

The bright green leaves have morphed into oranges, reds, yellows, and soon all will be a crinkly brown mass underfoot.  Stark branches will dominate the skyline.  Our rakes will rhythmically scratch the ground while we pile leaves into old sheets and carry them away to a gigantic pile that will reach the height of the six foot fence behind our house.  Each year the pile expands and then deflates as the snow and rain push the pile back into the earth.  By summer it will resemble a long short mound.

Our windows are now closed.  The birds are muted.   Fewer in number, their song no longer dominates the morning.  However their presence throughout the day is more evident by the growing number of thuds against our porch glass windows.  In the fall the birds cannot resist the berries from the giant weed growing in the corner of our yard. As they become overcome by a berry-induced drunken reverie, our porch windows become bird deflectors. The birds either forget the windows are there or suddenly believe themselves powerful enough to break through.  They then head in the opposite direction with a decidedly urgent air about them, as if to say “I meant to do that.”

Every fall I sit here and watch birds bounce off the windows and realize, “That’s why I wanted to cut down that bush” and then vow to cut it down next summer when it’s warm and I can wear shorts and short sleeves.


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