Fall is finally here, tumbling frantically downhill into Halloween after an uncertain ending to summer. Weather cools itself off in a spasm of pewter skies and spitting rain. Enjoyable in its own way even if it carries with it a nervous chill of realization that Halloween is just about here. People will "celebrate" this weird "holiday" in fits of trick-or-treating tinged with resignation or excitement, generally depending on one's age group. Or perhaps on one's willingness to embrace overindulgence in some form of socially accepted vice.
The leaves in this part of the world changed color seemingly overnight, sneaking up on the neighborhood like foliar ninjas. Ninjas bedecked in red, yellow, and orange cloaks twirling through the air to festoon lawns and sidewalks in coruscating displays of chaos theory that induce gawking. Such as it was on my errand-laden drive time today, out in the mist. One tree in particular, crowing to the world in a deep shade of red, nearly caused me to stop my car in the middle of a busy street, just to take its picture.
No pictures were taken, however. The car kept moving. The mind kept racing far out on front of it like a falcon on a long rope. The leaves. The colors. The metallic smell of rain. Sensory impressions gelled on the tongue, which burst into a question ejected onto the backside of the windshield.
"What happened to the time?"
The question shattered itself on the glass and rebounded into dizziness in my head. How did it get to be this late in the year, with summer passing by in a blur? The air in the car had a tang of incredulity in it, temporarily disabling my ability to swallow. How could it be the end of October?
That thought and a few garish displays of fake tombstones, Death and undead creatures clawing their way out of suburban-looking front lawns brought it all back to me in a rush. It is the end of October because the earth spins around the sun, nights elide the days and time marches on regardless of my attention span. Occasionally the fog lifts and notice is taken, only to further engender bemusement at what happens in the world beyond my shoulders.
It will be Halloween soon, a happening that always infuses me with a bit of low-grade anxiety. It is not a social event that ever cottoned to me, or me to it. I know the young ones dig it, my own included. They can celebrate it for treats, and that is the way of the world.
Me, I look forward to the fall as celebration of change in the air, manifested by the entry some years ago of my daughter into this world. She was not born on Halloween, thank heavens, but she sure made fall a treat. I drive on, past the decorations and into the swirl of leaves afloat in the October air. The colors blur into chaos and remind me of the love that is constant through all my seasons. It rises, it falls, it is ever there to catch me when I stumble out of time.