Carol Jane Remsburg
As seasons go, this summer so nearly gone was only remarkable in its unremarkability. We endured no drought for rain was plentiful but not to the point of flooding. For the first year in many a while, the farmers could be seen to smile. It was comfortable for the most part by not being outstandingly oppressive for long stretches. Even the humidity wasn't what it could have been. I'd been waiting with unrest for the last ten days. Just for "what" I didn't know until it arrived.
The weather forecasters had noted that this weekend would herald the first blast of autumnal cooling. The house was awakened by early morning thunderstorms on Friday well before it was time to arise. There was plenty of deep, echo-y thunder that shook the walls as the heavy rains pelted down. Once the storms passed, the dawn was still a warm one. We went about our day as usual off to school and to work. Work ended and errands were run before turning homeward.
It was dark when I arrived home with the weekly shopping. The putting away of it all is a family chore that we all do together—it's nearly the only one. So, it was only a short time later, while hubby and I sat in the dark on the porch going over our day when the cold front actually moved through. And while there was no lightning or resonant thunder to herald the arrival, when the front came it was impressive indeed.
It came with a rushing breath that kept building as if to test the trees for their endurance. The trees in turn, still lush and heavily leaved, groaned under the unwanted assault. They seemed to know that this wasn't just a storm squall but the return of the wind. Somehow in late spring and through summer the winds leave for other lands and entrust gentle breezes to the care of the land for the duration until their time comes nigh again.
Within minutes the temperatures dropped alarmingly enough to route us from our soft chairs on the porch to seek protection indoors. I quietly congratulated myself for shopping wisely. This would also be the first of many weekends when the big soup pot would bubble merrily upon the stove and a large pan of cornbread would bake in the oven. Candles would burn brightly and Halloween music would play.
Summer is great for pool parties, barbecues, and fun in the sun. Often the heat and humidity become more than I wish even with the luxury of air conditioning. The languor of the days stretch until they become something to endure rather than enjoy. It's then I find myself ready for the return of the winds. So like faith and prayer, while the wind is unseen, its effects hold both majesty and great power. We can fear it, be in awe of it, and damn it all at the same time. It is something well beyond our weak, human reach.
When the winds of autumn return, they blow away the cobwebs from our souls and refresh us. Often they chill us as we awaken from our summer slumber. It is the time again when our homes become our refuge and one we are grateful to have.
Shorts give way to long pants and jackets as we stroll about the town or our yards. We breathe deeply of the fresh, clean air that lightens our spirits as a smattering of leaves begin to litter the lawn. Many more will follow as the winds of autumn return.