Monday, September 22, 2008

But for Today, Summer and Autumn Were Friends

There are some days that are so completely full of beauty, that they must be marked with care and delight. Today was such a day.

Hannah and I started our three-mile run in the late afternoon. A glance to the right of our path showed that the corn harvester had started its circular rounds to capture the yellowed ears of corn that summer had meticulously wrapped in green packaging and autumn had carefully tied with brown silk ribbons. Only two or three circles had been completed by the machinery, and so, in striking contrast, the green and live plants stood towering over the down-trodden golden stalks that had already yielded the gift of their harvest.

The sun was at that exactly obtuse angle in the horizon where the green and yellow and orange hues are scattered so professionally that every molecule of the air seems to dance with color. And, yes, the air was perfectly warm and cool at the same time, almost as if summer and autumn had declared a truce and agreed to shake hands peacefully, forgetting last evening's loud war with its cruel weapons of thunderclouds and lightning bolts. The air retained just the right proportion of water - wet enough to soothe the lungs as it passed in and out with the increased pace that followed the clip of our footsteps against the ground, but dry enough to wick away any trace of wetness that threatened to gather on the skin as we ran.

The road took us through a serene pasture where bucolic cows stood calmly, unaware that autumn will soon break friendship with summer and betray their field to winter's death. But today, even the yellowing grass, not richly green but certainly not a crackled brown, understood that summer and autumn were presently friends.

Shaded trees stretched over the road that passed through the residential area of our running trail. The leaves were showing their first hints of yellow, not yet having surrendered fully to the coming oranges and reds that will eventually crown their noble descent ground-ward to leave our running path without a canopy.

We passed over a small creek, still busily returning water to the rivers, reminding us that even as recently as last night, summer and autumn had collided to drench the land with rain.

It was a day to be captured, to be framed if at all possible. It was a picture to be remembered on that awful day when autumn abandons its flirtatious courtship with summer, only to find itself conquered by the sterile cold of winter.

But for today, summer and autumn were friends, and their handshake, fleeting as it will be, set all the countryside alive with joy.