A vase of zinnias, the last of summer, with some airy Queen Anne’s lace, in a window looking out to rain, the mess of grapes left by raccoons to be swept away with the straw broom, a few moths clinging to dry siding under the eaves. In the years when I took voice lessons, this was the month I loved to sing Benjamin Britten’s arrangement of “The Last Rose of Summer”, its dark notes presaging the winter to come. So this morning I listen to Nina Simone and plan a quilt so there will be warmth, the long meditation of stitching by the fire.
Follow the brush of your thinking, leave your desk, follow it out one of the six entrances to your house, to the small Japanese maple beginning to turn. Follow it down the driveway, along the lower road to the ferns where you find chanterelles most years, where you found them earlier with your grandsons in July, picking enough for Grandad to cook in butter with an morning egg, fill your bag with their quiet trumpets, stop to reach under the sandy soil by the iron gate to pry out lobster mushrooms, spend part of an afternoon slicing them and drying them to fill jars with autumn’s flavour when you need it most.
Say goodby to the lake you loved entering almost every morning since June. Say goodbye to the kingfishers scolding, goodbye to the tiny fish, the scribble of grey flies in the light under the cedars where you turned, swimming to the four trees rising from the same trunk, where you turned, turned, and then it was too late.