a big beautiful mess

Autumn Stories

There is something about the particular cool creeping evening of early autumn, that October pink in the sky as the sun flirts away between the branches of the river-carved gorges. There is something about the way the air cools so quickly once the sun has stopped teasing and has retired for the evening for good. There is something about the crisp bite in your nose as you inhale and know, in your heart, it will snow soon. Not tonight, perhaps, but the snow is coming.

There is something about the changes that makes you go in search of a story.

The long lazy days of summer are gone, long gone. Perhaps a few warm days remain, where you can fling your jacket over your shoulder and revel in the sunshine. But you’d best not leave your jacket at home altogether, because the sun has become fickle. He doesn’t heat as warmly as he once did. He’s grown restless. It’s time for him to move on to other things. And you feel that restlessness, you feel his changing, and you know it’s time for you to fend for yourself now. In the summertime, your brain is addled with the heat, you live in a blithe fever-dream of dandelions and golden cobwebs and sleeping cats, of children screaming joyfully as they run pell-mell through market square fountains. In summer, red tomatoes fall ripe onto the ground and rot there because of the proliferation of fat red tomatoes, zucchini squash, green bell peppers, and corn. The corn piles up and the mealworms gorge themselves and lie in wait to disgust you in autumn when you find them.

In summertime, things are too easy.

Stories grow up in harsher climes. When the tomatoes stop falling and hang heavy and green on their vines, and never redden, when the zucchini gives way to hardy pumpkins, when the golden corn has been used up and the fat mealworms are discovered in the reserves, then is when stories begin to take root. In the small whispers, the far-off vibrations of conflict, struggle, tension, hardship. In the worry, the coming together, the baking and canning and preparation. As the family draws closer around the fire, stories begin to emerge.

OctInSeSt 4

Featured image: Janek Sedlar

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