Autumn in the Air

One week after Labor Day Weekend and the air has changed.  The days have been getting shorter steadily for three months, but with the hot humid August it was very much summer.  The last few days have been more crisp and dryer.  Autumn is in the air.

Summer still holds on stubbornly – and this week the temperatures will climb back to a level that warrants air conditioning.  But change is indeed in the air.  Sunrise is later, sunset is earlier as the northern hemisphere tilts towards the darkness.

Yesterday, while pulling weeds and planting chrysanthemums I drove my spade into the garden soil and realized I’d caught hold of something more than soil.  Looking into the hole I realized that I’d caught a fat toad squarely in the middle.  An accident of wrong place at the wrong time.  The toad was burrowing deep into the soil to hibernate, and tragically picked the very spot I chose to plant a mum.  It looked intact – I removed it from the garden to the woods and despite the odds hopefully it survives.  I see a lot of frogs and toads in the garden and in the pool, but this was the first time I’ve dug one up.

The garden has turned.  Most plants have gone to seed.  A few annuals like the dahlias are still cranking along.  Tomatoes and green beans are almost tapped out.  It’s harvest time for apples.  The garden knows what we all know – summer is almost over.

2018 has been a year of change in many ways.  Family and pets passing away, divorces and separation for friends, new jobs for my wife and for me, increasingly independent kids, some friends moving further away, others getting closer.  Physically this is the first year that I can remember where my metabolism didn’t kick naturally into another gear as we hit summer.

As the season changes I’m reminded that the blog has suffered.  I’ve lost the consistent contribution I’d aimed for.  Likewise I’ve lost the consistent effort to walk 10,000 steps, row 5,000 meters, do 100 pushups… etc.  Some things go well, other things fall short.  Such is life.

The political climate has been such a distraction this year, and efforts to filter it all out have proven unsuccessful.  I’ve taken to deleting apps like Twitter or Facebook only to return to them.  The addictive elements inherent in smart phones and social media work on me.  Compartmentalization becomes increasingly difficult when the noise penetrates from all sides.  Ryan Holiday calls this outrage porn; addictive outrage over the latest affront to our moral compass.  Best to turn it off…

This post, while brief, serves to shake me out of my self-imposed writing break.  It’s Autumn; summer mental vacations have ended.  It’s time to make a contribution to the world again.  A return to long form contribution.