The calendar says September, but October is already washing the green off the trees, revealing the golden, internal fire they’ve absorbed from the nearest star. Marigold colored ash leaves carpet our rainy street, carried against the curb like pools of petals. The maples have just begun to turn – and there are weeks to go before they stand bare for winter.
You don’t need me to tell you the farmer’s market was full of winter squash and pumpkins, straggling corn and the last flush of tomatoes and raspberries. The stems on the late dahlias are thick as branches, trimmed week after week of their crop of neon pompoms. The sunflowers stand on thin, reedy stems that will nod down over the next day or two, dusting the table with hopeful pollen.
I loved the cheery pictures I took of my mismatched dahlias, clashing like polka dots and checkered slacks.* Their crayon-box colors radiated in the low, rainy light – lemon yellow, red-orange, carnation pink and white. Maybe it was the Bob Wills, or – God Help Me – the George Strait – but we were sincerely swinging.
But the melancholy sky needed its voice today, as well. Sometimes you just have to see things for what they are. Sometimes you know with all your heart you can’t do something. No matter how much you feel you should. No matter what it will mean to follow that inner voice saying, “Not this.” Those feelings are elemental. You can work with them, re-combine them – but you can’t ignore the places they illuminate in your heart.
(*”I face the music, I face the facts, even when we walk in polka dots and checkered slacks.” – Two Little Hitlers, Elvis Costello.)