The wind is coming in from the north. Which means the smoke from the fire pit blows into our faces. But it is a high wind so we only occasionally have to duck our heads. I light a stick of incense. It's not sandalwood or patchouli, or even cedar. It is Jamaican coconut. I like watching the thin incense smoke swirling into the wood smoke. It allows me to see the direction of the wind. The winds of change.
There is no mistaking that the season is beginning Its change. At sunset there was a rather large group of geese that flew overhead the Airstream on their way to the pond located to the northwest of our property. They like to gather at this pond. Autumn nights are full of their raucous honks.
There is no large gather right now but there is no doubt that autumn is on the way. I'm trying not to mind. I have a recently finished a knit sweater to wear. It's the first one knit just for myself. I like the cooler weather and the bright colors on all the leaves.
Yet it still feel bittersweet. Because truly it has been a glorious, exquisite summer. The weather was not too hot but real hot on the best days, days spent out on the Flambeau river. The skies have been clear and full of constellations. The bugs have been mild. The rain has been perfectly timed for my lifestyle. I can't help but feel a little bit of shock. Because when you experience such intense happiness you think, you feel deep down in your core that it will last forever.
It occurs to me that it could last forever but in different forms, as long as I let the happiness ensue and thread its way through the different parts of my life.
Right now I sit next to a fire, the heat that makes the setting perfect for my new sweater on this cool evening. We heat up the chicken wings I picked up in the city. And in the middle of that I get a flash of the future. I imagine sitting in front of this same fire pit only clad in several warm layers and completely surrounded with mounds of snow. If I do this now, this weird look at winter, weird because I'm still squarely at the end of summer, I believe winter will be a bit more tolerable, autumn will be that much more brilliant. I allow myself just a few minutes of this bravery in the face of an upper Midwest winter. Just a few moments and then I'm done.
Because of course it is still summer.
We walk out to the road even though it is a windy cloudy night; there is still one or two bright stars to be found. Could be planets, I don't know and I'm reluctant to go back for a device that could identify. I don't need that clarification right now. Because the wind provides enough sound to keep my attention. It sounds like the sea's tide is coming in. That is above me. When I look below to my feet I see what must be male fireflies. There seems to be no other explanation for the three points of light that I see in the grass at the edges of the road. Lone males keeping up with their beacons of light.
There are still fireflies on the ground and in the grasses. I associate fireflies with my birth month, June. So you see, it is still summer.
The day has been breezy because the wind continues to gust. The leaves crashing like waves against each other. The trunks are swaying and keep on moving to their own momentum. After a leisurely trip to the county farmers market, we opted to stay close to the Airstream, braving the trees over the choppy, white-capped waves of the reservoir on the Flambeau River.
This girl has the wonderful ability to make everything shine with beauty around her. She has made friends with a little Mennonite girl the same magical age of five. The two of them ran around the market, in between the trucks and the trailers and the tables. They sat for awhile on a bench under the pavilion checking each other out and that image was the most beautiful spirit of summer I've ever seen. In a way they have grown together sharing the Wisconsin harvest season. We've been coming to this market for over twelve years and she makes the inroads into the community in one morning. Quite at few of women at the market stop for a few moments to consider the carefree but fleeting joy of being a girl. Of making friends. Of sharing the pure sun filled days of summer.
This girl swells my heart to the point of breaking, time and time again, so many moments of intense love. She comes running down the path through the woods clutching a few precious blackberries. She runs with such excitement until she trips and falls on her bum. After long moments and lots of tears we cheer and celebrate that she managed to keep the berries unsmashed. And she brushes off her bum and gets up from the ground to takes off at a run to wash her berries. She falls again only this time smashing those cherished berries which sets her off on a crying jay over the loss. Cradled in my lap I can't help but note that the scraped and dirtied knees don't factor a bit in the wake of the berry loss. My heart. It wants to break. Instead it shudders a bit with the swell of emotions.
She and I are on a mission to litter fairy houses throughout the property. They are not quite houses yet. I like to think of them as fairy resorts. It is definitely a work in progress.
In through the evening the wind ensues. Hmmmmm. I wonder if there is a lesson in that for me?
Then the thunder starts. I've been watching a severe storm make its way through the city and now it is reaching onto western Wisconsin. I'm afraid we are on the edge of the storm. But for a couple hours around sunset the rumbling thunder brought about a sense of urgency, kicking our end of weekend cleanup to a slight frenzy, expecting the raindrops to begin. But now at 9:30 I get to relax knowing that everything is stowed away making our departure from the woods tomorrow that much easier. But still I had taken all the split logs back the fire rack, not wanting all my chopping work to get doused. And now I find myself going back to stoke up the fire because the rain is still not here.
I can sit and feel the rhythm of the wind in the trees. At times it feels like the pulse of the earth. And yes the north wind will bring the chill of Autumn but it will could never blow away all the memories of summer.