Anticipation of Change

I couldn’t stand it anymore.

The acorns are dropping off my oak trees, halloween costumes are haunting the aisles of Target, pumpkin spice is back at Starbucks, and I am supposed to be able to drink my morning coffee outside by now.

“But Juli”, you might ask, “why can’t you drink your coffee outside whenever you want to?”

Because Louisiana, I’ll answer.

Summer in Louisiana has been a maximum-effort season for my home state this year. The heat started earlier than normal, higher than average, the dog days were the doggiest days, and it just won’t quit now that we are in mid-September. I know, I know…some will tell me that it is always still warm in September. But I also know that the humidity that keeps the algae growing on my deck steps is usually on its way out, and that the devil mosquitos, that are usually not this bad, have created an empire out of the habitually rain-soaked landscape. Outside is not a happy place right now.

We went to a football game last Saturday and my chin was pouring sweat like a faucet. Sexy, I know. My husband just kinda squinted, assessed the situation, and looked away in mild horror. Nothing makes you remember how much you love your spouse like waterfall chin sweat.

Summer, I am over you.

Fall, my lover, come here!

So like I said before, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I poured myself a strong cup of Community and stubbornly went to the back deck.

The trees stood still in the stale air. The birds sang and flew back and forth between the large branches. My eyes scanned the yard and found the unattended weeds and vines that are overtaking the fence row. I haven’t wanted to do yard work in a long time…

But then, as I sat quietly for a moment or two, I sensed them. The little hints of transition and change that are slowly and quietly making their way known.

It starts with the acorns I referenced earlier. For the next month, they will drop continuously and increasingly, until they cover all the flowerbeds and paths.

My chicken hens have slowed down their egg-producing dramatically, and are now molting. Their black and white checkered feathers drift over the yard slowly as the girls make new feathers for the cold winter nights.

And the daylight, it’s giving off hints of change as well. The days are slowly shortening as I notice the evenings getting shorter after school and the sun in its annual blinding position on the Interstate during the morning commute.

The new season is coming. And it’s Autumn. My favorite. My BFF. My love.

I can’t stand to wait. Every day I search the weather app on my phone for the tell-tale sign of its arrival… overnight lows in the 60s. That’s really all it takes to get the humidity gone and to get that pleasant, cool air for the morning coffee on the deck.

But it’s not here yet.

I went for a walk this morning (in the no good, miserable, filthy hot weather) and thought about the anticipation of change. How, when we know something good is coming, it is almost impossible for us to enjoy anything and everything happening in the now. The present can be torturous when the future looks so promising. The joys of Summer are long gone. The watermelons are no longer tasty, the swimming pools are closing, and the kids are in school instead of on the lake. Summer is not fun anymore, but here we are still in it. This season is long and hard and tiresome. But we are still here.

Friends, we still have to find ways to enjoy the in-between. Autumn is around the corner, yes. It’s going to be a great one, I can tell. There will be football games with hot chocolate and bonfires and leggings with boots – enough to go around, but it’s not here yet.

In the mean time, the in-between time, let’s just enjoy the little things. Let’s have coffee on the deck anyway, and listen to the birds sing songs we’ve never heard before.

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