A lot of people have busy summers, but I rarely seem to these years. Instead, this is suddenly the really busy part of my year.
Perhaps it has to do with the leaves turning, the students coming back and the nip that is now firmly ensconced in the air. Maybe it's the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year, as people are saying - Hey, it's time to get serious.
And so it is serious time.
I enjoy the color of early autumn and the relief from the blisteringly hot summer we had. My walks have gotten faster as I've been able to exert myself without flop-sweating. The water I drink is now hot from the tap (I despise ice water, always have). My creative juices seem to be flowing a lot better. Things are good. I just seem to be *on*.
But this is the first half of autumn. The second half, eh, I don't like it so much. You really see the effects of the equinox-tilt. You see the skies getting darker so much earlier. The trees become barer. It is, as Simon and Garfunkel sang, the hazy shade of winter.
But that is for after All Hallows' Eve. For these last precious few weeks, it's foliage time. It is time to see pouch-cheeked squirrels fussing with their acorn bundles as they prepare for winter. No flirty chasing each other now, like they did in the spring. No. Now is the time to buckle down.
The littler and skinnier dogs in my neighborhood are starting to sport little jackets. They wear canid Patriots jerseys to match their owners. Schoolchildren waiting for the bus check one last time - Do I have my homework with me? And they do, for they have turned serious.
And we are all through with coasting, at least for now, I feel, as we get the real work done. And the real work means not only more resumes going out there (and more interviews - I had one last week and I have two this week. When it rains, it pours) but also more careful meal planning. More measuring. More walking. More water drinking (good thing - for me - that it's hot).
And it pays off, as last year's jeans fit just fine, and I am sure I'm be able to stretch last year's warm jackets one more year. For I, too, will be pulling on the thermals soon enough.
And the riots of color and the jumps into piles of raked leaves will mask the true seriousness of these days, as the slide down turns into a run down and elusive goals are, again, sought with vigor.