Saturday, September 20, 2014

Summer slides into autumn

Dragging my feet, I find myself in the last weekend of summer. In all my memories of summer days spent at the summer house, I cannot recall a season of such perfect weather. It is the stuff of quintessential New England: cool sunny mornings, clear cloudless days with gentle breezes, brilliant rosy sunsets and comfortable evenings.

“Summer slides so gently into autumn … that it is easy to believe there will be no end,” said New England author Gladys Taber. “Day dreams toward twilight, skies are sapphire, the tide ebbs quietly. I begin to think time itself is arrested and the green leaves will stay forever on the trees. Gardens glow with color, with late roses and with carpets of zinnias and asters.”

Even though I am in denial, I detect the winds of change. A tinge of orange colors the maple leaves in the front yard. When I walk to the beach, I bring a sweatshirt. I can count the few fuchsia beach roses that still cling to the bushes.

Yet, despite my reluctance to move on, I admit that September offers a beautiful backdrop to my days. Now there is time to pause and truly admire the Creator’s handiwork.

This is my husband’s favorite fishing season. There is a plentiful supply of scup waiting to bite on clam necks, sandworms and squid; and bluefish race up and down the coast, chasing schools of prey. No bait required – casting or trolling with a lure will hook this silvery fish that can range up to 40 inches in length and weigh up to 20 pounds.

Dashing wildly within the schools of prey, the bluefish bite, cripple and kill the small fish that do not get eaten. Charting the course from above, flocks of seagulls follow the trail and splurge on leftovers.

From my perch on a boulder, I watch the fishermen in their powerboats crank up their engines in hot pursuit of the blues; while on shore, the anglers run up and down the beach following the path of screeching gulls and jumping fish.

Then by an unseen cue, the wind picks up; and I wrap my arms about me, lingering a little longer.

“Nature, however, sets her own time schedule,” said Taber. “She decides when the first white frost will come and when the geese go over and when the leaves will begin to drift down and when the hibernating small animals will feel the urge to snug down in their burrows.”

With my hair whipping wildly in the wind, I slowly amble back to the summer house for a cup of tea.