I know...I know. It's early August.....but, there is something in the winds. The Blackbirds find the need to group up. I don't know why, but they do, and that's all that matters.
The battle begins. The Sun slowly cedes once prized territory to the southern horizon. But nature hates a void, and something evil seeks to replace the warmth. The Summer heat fights back with powerful thunderstorms. The driving rain sent to wash the new fallen leaves out of the gutters. It can't be...not already. It protests with lightning and rumbling thunder, but the enemy has the advantage of time....and patience. The outcome predetermined-as is has for millenia before our paltry exsitence-and as will after we are but a few pictures in a photo album and (hopefully) kind words from our descendants. The autumnal equinox 5 weeks away yet it is indeed the bottom of the ninth, the 12th round. The 2 minute drill-and we're behind by 9.
Harbingers abound if you'll watch. The ants have sudden purpose-as do the mice and chipmunks. The Robins now tolerate others in their sacred territory-soon they'll be gone, as will everything not tough (you and I) or able to manipulate their environment (again, you and I)
The goose chicks, a few weeks ago yellow feather dusters, are now almost indistinguishable from mom and dad-who BTW are lifelong partners. And the chicks flight ready. They don't know why or where they're going, but will follow their parents without question, hesitation or quarrel. Perhaps that explains some of our problems. And yes-I mean both. Figure it out.
In the hunters, a stirring. Work for now-but soon. Stands, earthy smell, wet woods. Arrows. Beer, jerky. Undercooked steaks, onions and fine Whiskey. Excuses and memories. As the song says "A one look girl in a two bit bar" Good friends seen only in the fall. Sleep in the recliner, and up at 2am to stoke the woodstove. Mice in the outhouse, and the realization that another of my finite Falls is here. Soon.
The kids dread school-as we did, but intrigued by what 1 rung up the ladder will bring, but way to "cool" to admit it-like we were. Folders, pencils. Sweatshirts and flannel sheets. Chili. Publically complaining about privately delicious hot luches. Yea, I been there, and I would guess you have as well. Gym shorts. The comfort of friends not seen since June.
So we'll go about our business as if nothing is new, but we know...we are told by wiser beings. You see, you and I are spoiled. I know it, and I would hope you do too. We can turn the heat up, or head out to a restaurant, or warm up the car. Add a blanket. A shot of Whiskey to ease the pain and provide warmth. No preparations needed for what lies ahead. Too feeble to adapt, to weak to tolerate,we manipulate. You and I.
The days grow shorter...an inconvenience to us, life and death for the rest.
The now Old Dingo can no longer hunt grouse, so she weakly fetches the short thown stick in the sunshine of what will probably be her last glorious Autumn. Her back end goes out, she falls-on the ground, nothing moving but her heaving chest as she catches her breath and .......her wagging tail. Too painful for this man. I help her up, and she retrieves the prize. Throw it again she says...but I know...I know. Damn, Damn. Again, It can't be...not already. OK my friend, time to go in. I help my best friend of all times up the 2 stairs, and give her a hot dog, or cheese, or whatever. I pour a drink, and I shed a tear. She lays by my chair and sleeps. Come on , just a little more time...please??I type my heart out here and hope. Just as she chased the Pheasants in Iowa and Huns in South Dakota. Just as she chased the Grouse in Price county. Just as she chased the Ducks in North Dakota-so it shall be.She would throw her head back and bark "Go faster...faster!!!" Now, alas, it is her turn to be chased-as you and I are. I hope she can run just a little bit farther for a little bit longer than what is chasing her. But yet I know ...I know. Yet she is OK with it. For she knows -she knows what I can not handle,but she traded the knowledge for a vow of silence. Her eyes betray her, if I look. She tells me "It'll be OK my friend", but it's too painful to think about-so I try not to. I beg..."go faster...faster" Dingo...please????....Damn dogs.
The Yellow Jackets come to warn us of what's ahead and in return only ask a sip of our drink. Yet we do not listen, do not heed or appreciate, swat,curse them instead. The flies and ladybugs, not realizing the futility, seek to come inside-not to pester, but survive. The Salmon return to home they never knew. The bears, without calendar, fatten up-as do the Muskies. They know not why, but yet do. The Chickadees await the refill of the feeders, and the hummingbirds will not stay longer for nectar-no matter how sweet.
Before you know it, we'll be raking. Footballs will fly, and this poster will be happy with his artificial, commercial entertainment. Those outside have no time for such nonsense.
Sweatshirt in the morning, A/C in the afternoon. Burning leaves, frost. The furnace will groan from it's sleep at the flip of a switch or slide of a dial. Yet at the same time the Boat, lawn mower, and bird baths go into hibernation. Longies, gloves. Damnit.
The cycle, always the cycle. Ad infinitum....We do not see,
because it is not what we want to see. But sure as I'll lose money on the Packer pools, it's coming-what we want matters not to the powers that be. Too dark, too early, too long...and way too soon
and to all my friends....