Sunday, August 14, 2005

Almost, the end of the summer...

Where did the time go? Here we are, halfway through August already. Given the heat we've had, combined with so little precipitation, everything has that late-summer, spent look to it. Gardens and lawns lean toward ochre; fruits on trees have reached their prime, and around here in farm country, most crops are being, or have already been harvested.

When you walk into stores now, alongside the reduced bins for summer merchandise, you find all the back-to-school supplies and the first of the Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations being put out on the shelves. That's right, folks - put away the summer pastels in favour of the autumnal russets, golds, and cerise.

Already the days have begun to shorten so that we now see dusk by 8:30 at night, and the air grows somewhat cooler. Woodsmoke from the camp grounds drifts past, lending a spicy, almost desolate feel to the breeze. We sat out on our back deck last night, feeding chunks of wood into our chimnea, watching the first stars poke holes into the sky.

And as the autumn descends, so does the mood change toward the writing; summer settings will be replaced, in some cases, by those dipped in autumn - the baring of branches, the heating of warm ciders, and the skeletal click of bones leading us by the hand toward the cold season.

Have had a request for an entire manuscript from a very significant NYC agent; have another editor perusing another full mss. I sit with fingers crossed. Still more queries continue to circulate re: other works, and the mail box beckons.

As the colder, more winterly winds arrive along our doorsteps, I'll don a warm fleece and gloves, to tred to the mail box, kicking dry leaves ahead of my path. As the rains begin, runneling along windowsills and gutters, I'll listen for the sounds that always inspire the writing while finding comfort in the basic securities of life: home, family, writing, a touch of wine or a good beer to celebrate the day, and a fire in the hearth.

Come autumn; come, and take our hands.

Pick up the pen, applying the kiss of its tip to the silken skin of paper, and let the words flow.

On a separate note: we purchased our first kayak and equipment this week: a Wilderness System 'Tsunami' boat; 14.5 feet long, brilliant yellow. We are ecstatic. We've spent the summer kayaking with rental boats, finding joy along the water's surface - perusing the depths of the St. Lawrence. On a clear day, with the sun overhead, one can look down through fifteen feet of water and see each stone, clam shell, and ribbon of river grass. Shadows of fish skating by ripple along the bottom.

Soon enough, when the mosquitoes die down and allow easy passage through the woods again, I'll take to the trails to note the turning of the leaves; the sweet, slightly decaying miasma of summer matter turning to spoil; the last drones of late-season dragonflies.

Celebrate in the seasons, do. I am inspired.