“When you’re young you prefer the vulgar months, the fullness of the seasons. As you grow older you learn to like the in-between times, the months that can’t make up their minds. Perhaps it’s a way of admitting that things can’t ever bear the same certainty again.” ~ Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot
There is much talk of autumn arriving early this year. And even more protesting that it is certainly not arriving yet, along with earnest pleas not to rush summer out before its due time.
For those of us who work in tandem with the land and the weather and the fauna that live alongside us, it can be exciting to see the seasonal changes when they show themselves. But change is constant. We gardeners know that the moment the seed enters the soil, change begins, and does not stop until the fully flowering, fruiting, seeding plant is spent and begins its descent back into the earth again.
Mid to late August is the beginning of a between-time here in the Valley, that lasts until deep September when there is no escape from autumn. It is the golden time now. The sun is still high and hot. But it rises later in the morning, and a little more to the south, casting a ruddy glow over the western hills as it lifts into the morning.
The corn is coming in fast, the second cutting of hay is finished, and the late summer wildflowers are waving lazily by the river - the last place in the Valley that offers any hope of moisture. The Canadian geese are moving in flocks to the southern lakes. They will stay a while yet, and then take off for their southward journey from these waterways. The quail are fattening up, all the little families gathered together now, streaming down our streets pecking through everyone's yards. I've encountered bear evidence at the river as well, full of seeds from the wild ripe berries that abound at this time.
I too, am shifting, changing. I found myself terribly burnt-out these last weeks, and I've been ignorning the signs and messages that were telling me I needed to adjust how I was living. The last time I ignored the warnings of my body and intuition in such an extensive way, I was hit by a van. I don't need that kind of wake-up call again.
Fortunately, I have a meditation practice to crawl back to, family and friends that understand when I have to cancel a previous commitment to take care of myself, and insightful folks who are happy to help (or intuit, or heal) when I need some backup. I'm still feeling left of center, but I'm looking at this as my in-between time, my chance to shine some golden light upon myself and find a better way to be productive and giving without running myself into the ground.
As the seasons stretch out and show signs of transformation, I'm hoping that you are finding your own golden moments to enjoy. Rejoice in whatever pleases you, whether is it the lingering heat of summer, or the first red leaves and cool evenings. And if you don't like what you see outside your window, don't fear. It will soon change.