What a glorious day here in mid-Michigan. Oh, it started out swathed in pea-soup fog, but now the sun is out, after several days of gloom, shining on the beginnings of our fall color season…small but significant splashes of crimson and orange and smoky aubergine beginning to appear on the maples, the sumac, the ashes. Sprays of wild asters and goldenrod nod along the roadside. I’m going to a farmer’s market tomorrow, where I’m sure I will be so entranced by the seasonal colors and aromas that I’ll have to be physically dragged back home. And it’s just about time for my second annual Volunteer Apple Taste-a-Thon, where I travel the back roads of Outer Podunk and surrounds, looking for sample windfall apples along the fencerows to taste-test. I took my mother on such an outing last year, and she loved it.
I love autumn. It’s something of a guilty pleasure, since I know a lot of people who find this time of year depressing. But to me it’s a great psychological boost after the long, muggy, insect-eaten wind-down of summer. My internal timeclock seems to run on the academic year instead of the calendar year anyway. And this year especially, after the shock of bereavement and, closely following, the surprise of new love, it feels like a right time both for some personal stock-taking and for some reinvention.
I feel energized, and percolating with ideas, and more than a little feisty. I know…last weekend I was in the pit of despair. Well, t’hell with that. There’s no time for that. I’ve got places to go and people to see and words to write and apples to pick and winterizing chores to accomplish before the bare-branched, gun-metal days of November.
I remind myself of a bear, readying for winter, grasping at every shiny late-season berry in the brambles: Just one more bite. Just one more.
P.S. I'm still camera-less -- alas, no botanical blogging today -- but I can direct you to The Leland Report , from up in one of my favorite parts of the state. Enjoy the view.