27 August 2006

Hints of Autumn

I drove out into the countryside today; a phrase that is a bit paradoxical, considering that when one lives in Maine, just about anywhere can classify as “in the countryside.” What I mean is, I left our small town, where we have a main street, concrete sidewalks, and stoplights, and went out into the rolling hills and farmlands; the back roads that are off the beaten path, where the houses are old, the trees are older, and the cows are often more populous than the humans.

It was a bit of a rainy day with a chill in the air. The thermometer on my car checked in at 59 degrees Fahrenheit at 2:00 this afternoon. I wore a sweatshirt and I confess, I even turned the heat on low. I switched the radio dial to my favorite classical station. Cool, cozy Sundays always turn my heart toward the soothing music of strings and pianos.

As the car wound around the hills, I passed an old stone wall, a country store, now boarded up and closed, and an apple orchard humming with activity, and signs promising cider, pumpkins, and other autumn treats. Momentarily, I thought it was all a bit premature, what with it still being August, and the fact that many of the schools don’t start until later this week or even the next.

Then I came around a bend and saw a tall, lone maple that had its branches partially scooped out to allow power lines to pass by. While all the trees for miles around were still a bright hue of green, the top of this lone maple was a bright scarlet. It was the first – the first sign of autumn.

We still have a few weeks of warmth, but the dye has been cast, so to speak. Autumn is on its way and there will be no stopping it.

I can’t wait. :)

Copyright © 2006 - Paulla Estes

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