Can you Feel It? Fall is in the Air, a Poem

Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon

Do you Feel It?

Can you hear it? Smell it? Feel it, as can I? Fall is in the air.

Oh, yes, it is still warm this Indian Summer month that we’ve shared here in California this year. The warmth of the sun overhead, the flowers; green grass, the fruit on the trees and bushes, a visual paradise of God’s work. The hills are just beginning to turn from spring bright green to winter brown.

Still, birds lazily fly by to perch on a limb or splash in the bird bath in our backyards -- they stop by the bird seed put out for them; for us to enjoy-watching these colorful, beautiful little creatures. Songs heard bring smiles to our lips and warm our hearts as they find the red berries and fruit of summer.

Butterflies flutter from flower to flower along with big black bumble bees.

How we rejoiced this Spring when we heard the chirps of the birds young nesting in the branches of near by trees. All is well with the earth. With the rebirth, we know another year will come, so we watch and wait for the birds to grow strong,and leave their nests - a new circle of life.

Kittens came this time of year as well, and puppies. We see them on the lawns of neighbors or in front of markets in boxes looking for homes in which to grow and age. What happiness they give us as we imagine holding nuzzling and snuggling with these delightful new little creatures.

We spy new born horses and cows, sheep and goats growing strong in the fields as we drive by. Everything that says that life will go on. A promise to us all.

Spring turned into Summer. Everything slowed down for a season of summer.

The grass rustling under our bare feet as we walk to the rivers to picnic on the banks still can be felt between our toes. But on the fringe,off at a distance, the smell of rain coming. A smell ever so lightly now, but nonetheless, in the air. Almost sweet, almost a welcome respite from the heat of the past several months. Simply a timely promise soon to be realized.

I see the birds now swirling in the late afternoon sky above the trees. Gathering on three tree tops near by. Noisily now an urgecy about them. Are they talking about the coming migrations. For certain they are a buzz with excitement of the changing season. I wonder what they say now. What they plan and where they will go for the winter. More are joining, circiling, circiling above the three trees for a spot to land. Soon they will leave us for another migration. They feel it, smell it, know it too.

The nights are coming sooner now on these warm September nights. I can feel just a little coolness, dampness, seep into my bones as I gaze upon the harvest moon so silver, big and bright in the night’s darkened starlit sky. There is a wee bit of crispness to the night. Soon this crispness will cover the day as well.

I see that the leaves on the trees are getting ready. Just a slight tinge of yellow here, a spot of red there and a bit of dryness can be detected as they too ready for the fall season.

Soon the harvests will be completed. Still, today, there are people who "put away" the summers bounty from the fields. "Can" food for the winter months when fruit is no longer fresh from the trees to eat. This is well under way now in these homes as they prepare for winter. Quarts of peaches, pears and other fruits. Berries made into jams and jellies. Pints and quarts of tomatoes,green beans and other summer vegetables. Corn and apples to come in the following weeks. Then pumpkins and almonds, walnuts and filberts.

I can see the steam from the heat of the boiling water on the stove. Smell the country kitchen as the aroma of the sweet sugary juices cook and see the kitchen a buzz with preparation in my mind’s eye. What loving memories of my childhood it evokes.

Woodcutting will have already begun as well. Up at dawn, a steaming freshly brewed cup of coffe in one hand and off they go in the pickup truck to find a winter’s supply of good, dry burning wood. Just enough for the winter with a measure more in case it’s a long one. Can you hear the distant buzz of the chain saw? It’s time for chopping, splitting and piling wood for the winter stove.

The seasons of the year. Each one signifies a time in our lives dictating our rhythms and things that must be done, must be prepared. It’s all very organized, really. A certain regimented order. Automatic in what is done when with nature, or in sync with nature.

Spring a rebirth. Time for us to prepare the earth to plant our crops for next year’s food. Clear out our homes from the stuffiness of closed up homes from the winter past. Animals come out from their winter shelters to greet the sun and ready for the birthing season.

The dead, barren world springs to life with new, fresh, leaves and flowers readying to bear fruit. A sky turns from grey to a lighter, brighter shade of blue. The sun beginning to peek out from behind black and grey clouds to greet us now.

Summer slows us down to a lazier pace so that we may enjoy the beauty of the season and the fruits of our labor. The earth and we are so alive. Beauty and peace everywhere we look. Now we are covered by a clear, deep, blue sky with the summer sun hot and yellow. White, fluffy, puffy, billowy clouds lazily float by in the azure sky.

Then comes Fall. It puts a sense of urgency in us all. As the leaves on the trees catch afire in a sea of yellows, golds, browns, and reds to tell us to hasten, winter is coming.

The nights grow dark, clear and cooler as if pushing us to remember what is coming as we pull on our sweaters or light the bon fires to push the chill away. It’s time to clean up from the summer and prepare for the dark, cold months of winter. Even the crickets tell us to hurry. All of God’s creatures are busy readying for the coming Winter.

And, finally Winter. That wet, cold, snowey time when the earth sleeps. The days are darker, the sun shines less. Everything is stilled by the howling, cold, North wind.

Icicles hang like crystals from the eaves of our roofs. The ground is purified by pure white, dry, snow or washed by rain. We hear the glory of the sky when thunder clashes and lightening strikes telling us to be still, there are bigger things than we. We small creatures of the earth are humbled by the elements as we huddle by the fire to keep warm. Or bundled in our winter gear and hats to brave the outdoors. We look out of our windows into the darkness as the rain pelts the glass, waiting. Waiting for the Spring to come and to warm us.

I feel the sun on my shoulders today as I trim the dead roses from the bushes, and cut the spent leaves from my flowers. It’s warm and sometimes hot on my skin. But as I keep working, slowly pulling up the now overgrown tomatoe plants, I can feel it in the air.

O, the excitement in the air, if you listen. You too will know a change is coming. A change of season is almost with us. Fall is in the air!

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