A sense of hunkering down settles over the house. Cool mornings cede passage to warm afternoons, the heat rising and falling like the tide. I feel the yawn of summer, the way the earth withdraws beneath the smokescreen wisps above the pond. On the horizon, a large brown heron throttles westward, determined to make land before the sunset drops its carmine and purple veils. The dark comes early, sometimes like a curtain at intermission, sometimes hidden behind clouds that glower sternly as they slip across the fields, hover above the wildflowers, make promises of rain they don’t always keep.

Autumn has tiptoed in, spreading leaves and melancholy in equal measure. It is a bundling time…a gathering of garden debris and fallen leaves and unfulfilled vacation fantasies. After the months of pandemic anguish, the hesitant one step forward, then two steps back, I sense a tucking away of postponed trips, a tendency to fold plans into smaller packages. I wrap them in tissue paper like the green-skinned tomatoes, the last on the vine, and hide them in boxes, trusting they will ripen in the warm dark of October’s storeroom, stay warm and settled through winter’s hoary breath, and wake again when spring flounces in.

Enjoy your October ramblings. Jot down the words that tumble through as you observe, record, and evaluate. The stories are there. Reach out and pluck one in!