Seagulls have been singing their high, yearning song all through today. They have the voice of the ocean. I love the way they swoop over my garden. I love how sand blows on my path, and the air smells wild and briny.
I have fewer sparrows on the lawn; perhaps they have flown to the nearby woods for more certain sustenance as the earth darkens and the days grow short. It's night by 6.30 now, and everything feels right once more. (I have always hated daylight saving. The arrogance of Man in changing time; the disdain for night and the inner life - these have troubled me since childhood.)
As the bitter summer heat begins to ease, gardens are rejuvenating. Roses flourish, tomatoes ripen, burned out flowers begin to green again. My stock are budding where I thought they were dead. Apples pile up in the stores, and we begin to turn from salads to roast vegetables, soups, hot bread - rich, comforting food that seems to strengthen then body and do good things for the soul. It's still too hot at night to bring out my winter bedclothes, but I'm looking forward to more blankets, hot water bottles, socks, soon now.
I am waking earlier, when the sky is still like poetry; I am going to bed earlier too, taking a candle and lovely book - although more often than not I lay down the book and simply listen to the sad love songs of the cicadas outside my window (and in my garage). They make me dream myself into dreaming. I might wake again in the middle of the night, when they have lulled awhile, and then I think of other singing things - enchanted swans, lonely winds, restless wild-souled children. For some reason, autumn feels like the season of fairytales and strange, sweet stories told beneath the fat moon.
There's such hope in this season. I know it's different for many people, but summers here can be brutal, and autumn is a real relief. Actually, the word I would use for it is companionable. Our southern autumns have a tenderness and comfort which wraps around the heart and makes you wish they lasted longer than a mere few weeks.