Ever since we had our first chilly morning, I've been obsessed with the phases of a life and just where I am in that grand plan. When I was growing up and women were gossiping about the older man up the street with the young chippy - they'd call it "that May/December romance".
Memories of my life as a kid are always in the pastels of spring- squeaky clean, shiny and new. They're scented with chlorine, wet dog and playground sweat. I remember my late teens and child rearing years in primary colors suffused with neon - hot, ripe, passionate- surrounded by the cloying smell of honeysuckle, lavender and roses in full bloom.
The trees outside my kitchen window are still wearing their lush green canopies, but they're beginning to fade. The green is less vibrant, some of the leaves are edged with brown. The vines in the vegetable garden are looking wilted and have lost most of their leaves. The patio umbrella is faded and drooping, the canvas chairs have permanent bottom shaped dips in them. I look at this sad picture of late summer and remember that in a week or two the garden will be filled with mums, richly shaded in oranges, golds and browns. The trees will glow gold and orange one last time before they drop the leaves for winter. As soon as we have a morning frost, the fading pumpkin vines will shrivel out of sight leaving behind a crop of bright orange pumpkins. That's why I've always loved autumn, it's like a fighter regaining his feet on the 8 count and going on to fight out the round. He may get knocked out in the next round, but for this one he has come up fighting, swinging, punching and putting on one last show.
I feel like I've entered the autumn of my life. My kids are grown and it's the first chance I've had to fully pursue my own interests. There was that period right before Princess graduated from High School that felt like late summer - I was a little faded and droopy, sad and in need of plumping up. A bit scared about what was coming next. It's only this year that I realized after late summer comes Autumn! Another batch of memories to make, this time scented with the smell of hot cider and burning leaves, colored with rich golds, oranges and browns.