Miriam Feder home


Fall and the Back-to’s

It’s back to school time in my head, even though my last blue fabric-covered notebook was over forty years ago, even though my daughter takes an airplane to school and I kiss her good-bye once for the whole semester. Still, the school calendar calls the tune for me and so many others, etched into our bodies for all our days. Classes at the gym fill up. January’s resolutions are dusted off. People assume that earnest tone.

Days shorten and my blood cools down enough to stick to business. Morning clouds fix me to my chair and reward my hard work with afternoon sunshine. Evenings come earlier, the crickets are frantic and the air is stirred a bit serious. Summer still sparkles the corners of my mind. I can almost touch the fun, the folks, the picnics, the fresh fruits, veggies and the salty smells. But that serious wants more of me and I give in, almost relieved by the rhythm it suggests. Yes, I feel good doing my work and looking outside for a dog-day reward. If only the summer evenings would linger. What a pay-off—long slow light and frog songs on my deck. But the light has been narrowing since June now. I’m too late again. Next year I’ll pitch my offer in May—no, next year I won’t forget.

This new fall energy refreshes from the hot summer lazy’s. Too soon it will sag under the wet and gray-again days, then holiday-indulgence daze. But now it’s dry and green, mums-in-the-stores with notebook castanets snapping. It’s fall.

I’ll celebrate a new year of apple-sweetness and pumpkin festivals. Little wisps of summer will sneak through in golden light and red-hot grills. I’ll grab the warm teasing afternoon, knowing it might be the last. Days will speed their spin as the last drops of the year are sucked down the hole, fall and all.