A Promise

There’s a chill in the air as I gather the mail from the mailbox. The high will still be in the eighties, but that chill is a hint. A promise. “Autumn is coming.”

Summer makes me restless and active. The haze sticks to my skin and inspires too-late nights, dancing as sweat trickles down.

But when I feel that chill? I hold it in my mouth. Let it make my tongue and throat tingle.

I’ve written several times on here that the cooler months find me introspective. I suppose I’m no different than the bears or squirrels. Except my reserves consist of thoughts, not food. Self-examination to keep me warm when the first cold autumn rain hits or the flurries white out the windows.

I’ve been reading more. Nonfiction. Horror (but how close that comes to nonfiction, depending on the subgenre)! Romance. Mystery. In the pages I find ghosts of people I’ve known. Maybe a written bit of conversation reminds me, or a scene that mirrors something familiar a little too well. Eerie, yet comforting.

I have a fierce longing to walk the woods like Thoreau and inhale the burned-crackle scent of the leaves. Make notes in my journal and remark on the changing scenery. Be a quiet, humble human in love with nature.

I have a few more cuts and bruises than I did this time last year. I’m grateful for the lessons. So much good seems hidden in the small things. So much growth comes from the worst pain. I’m ashamed it took me so long to understand. And that I had to be slapped across the face before I could wake up.

But I still woke up.

I close the mailbox. As I make my way back to the house and spy Dexter’s sweet face and floppy ears from the window, I know I have all I need in this moment. I am ready for my annual hibernation.

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