All of a sudden we don’t hang out on the porch all the time. It has gotten cold. Friday morning we had our first frost since spring started. Today the wind is howling. Fall has arrived. The crescent moon on the equinox makes it official.
Asters are blooming in the field. Goldenrod bows in the wind. Milkweed pods are beginning to brown, their seeds drifting over the meadow. This morning I watched the Green Mountains silhouetted by the golden light of morning; a duck zipped across the sky, heading north. Birds have stopped singing, calling to each other now quietly to stay in flocks as they migrate. Leaves drift to the ground, red highlighting the hillsides.
This time of year I think of all the things I have not done. I need to finish clearing the garage of painting accoutrements. I need to dig up and mulch the garden. I want to pick apples and make jam. I should prune some trees. And other things. Should I cut the field again before it snows? Can I fix the lawn mower so we can mow a few more times? Will we be able to get corn again before harvest season is over?
It is hard not to want to simply get outside on these days the sun rises later and lower in the sky. There are mountains to hike and trails to run. Too many years ago my wife and I started hiking the Long Trail about this time. We got married in the fall. It is the best time of year to be outside. It is cool, beyond the heat of summer but not yet the chill of winter. There are no mosquitoes. The air smells full of all that was summer–fallen leaves and soil and ripe fruit.
This morning I spent some time on the porch, finishing a book, drinking coffee, eating a cider donut I picked up at yesterday’s Shelburne Farms Harvest Festival. The wind whipped the trees and the field grass. I thought about all I might do today but felt lazy at the same time. Yesterday I read that the reason we are here is to lead an amazing life. Maybe I should start with trying to do that. I am assuming an amazing life includes roast corn for dinner, if I can find it.