The ladies are now dressed in their finest fall dresses and jackets as they exit the Fox Theater located on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue. Some talk about the colder winds and reminisce about their flowered summer gowns.
Those same winds cool the white capped waters of Lake Michigan before it vanquishes the once warm air on Chicago’s West Addison St. As it moves past Wrigley Field, some discarded Cubs tickets are picked up and carried down the street and around the corner.
As the October winds travel south they move along St. Louis’ Market Street. Union Station with its cafes and shops is now decorated with fall themes and colors befitting the new and lifeless season.
The north wind sweeps it’s relentlessly broadening and foul breath into McDonald County. The campers, those that floated on the Elk River and the fisherman once seen in their small boats are gone. As I peer through the window pane of my home near Noel my thoughts are now only of another cold winter.
The warm Sumer breezes have gone away and the morning frost covers the grassy meadows. I know very well from many decades of life that the early day’s frost inspired cold blanket won’t retreat until the late morning sun finally drives it away. It seems as though everything around me is preparing for a time of hibernation and sleep. All things around me and everything in this world seem to be slowing while a summer that will never be again has passed. The long hot days are nothing more than a memory as the sunny days shorten and darkness comes earlier and earlier and the drab brown grassland has vanquished the green blades and driven the odor of newly mowed grass away.
The cold wind is birthed from pain that lives in the north and the wretched gusts make their way across the land while the south wind has left for warmer places and won’t return for months, and months, or maybe never again. That wind of change blows the once green leaves that the trees no longer want and gathers the dying bits of those trees into piles that build up against fences, the sides of barns and gardens where nothing now grows. The sun is dimmer and the night skies seem clearer as the stars are more easily seen but those nights seem to never end as the darkness surrounds me like a smothering blanket I cannot crawl out from under.
Can you feel it; can you feel the coming changes carried on the movement of the wind? Can you hear the sounds of the air moving through the tree tops and the quiet and barely discernible noise made as the dry leaves are taken from the summer branches? Don’t you smell the dry cool air as it moves over you heading south where the warm days still linger? Can your senses discern the changes that will surely come taking away the long warm summer days which will soon be replaced by the cold and darkened days of winter; those sad cold days and nights that seem to never end.
I am so very tired and I believe that the cold north wind is taking some of me with it as it relentlessly and most cruelly blows the grace of summer south. I fear that soon my memory of summer will fade and I will only know the season of change, and the cold dark time yet to come. I rested, and rested and rested for so very long, so long that the restful time passed into an eternity.
The tallest and most elderly oak trees curse that wind that signals the end of the warm months that gave rise to so much life. The oaks fight to keep their green leaves alive but the wind and the cold it brings transform those browning leaves into lifeless and dead forms that fall to the ground below.
October’s cold dry breath rolls over the Ozark hills and skulks stealthily through the low valleys. The cold chill travels almost unnoticed as it seems to tiptoe alongside the creeks and streams. The slow moving waters of the creeks, streams and rivers unwittingly surrender their summer warmth and the cooler water flows on its way to no particular destination.
The October winds don’t come with my salutation but rather arrive unwelcomed, and I bestow on those cold movements of air my scorn and contempt. The cold breaths of air taunt me with the promise of many cold dispiriting days that surely lie ahead. This is the season when living things must surely start to die and death for those flowers, leaves and other fragile bits of life is inevitable.
There are those that say change is inevitable and I reluctantly must agree. But, for the optimistically minded few who say that change is good I say, I wholeheartedly disagree and, even now, I long for the warm long days of summer and the time for living.