Day Four: Truncated
It was after seven this morning before the tops of the cedars outside the bathroom window began to show their shimmering orange faces to the slender morning light. A month ago it would have been six o'clock, and not so much orange as yellow, from a sharper angle. I might have noticed the beginnings of a shift and thought that it was nearly time for sweaters and slippers and morning fires.
Still, August seemed to sneak out the back door this year, unannounced in its departure except perhaps for the hawks with their increasingly shrill enthusiasm for flight, sounding each evening more and more like the beginnings of a bar fight. I don't hear them these days at all, and I can't say for sure if they've left or have grown, as any successful gang would, into their instincts enough to keep their mouths shut except to chew. Regardless, their silence leaves behind a shuffling sort of loneliness that lingers, scuffing it's heals on the porch, wondering where everyone has gone.
How the gradual and never unexpected turning down of days always leaves one feeling at least a little surprised, I don't know, but there you have it--another summer truncated by fall. This year it happened on a Sunday. Rain so hard all through the night that the driveway gravel reshaped itself, and then on Monday morning we could still see our breath at quarter to ten. That afternoon the geese flew over, woeful and urgent in their calls, their long journey from winter underway once more.