The wooden deck is still damp from last night’s rainstorm. The surrounding gardens and lawns are soaked too, and newly vibrant. Single oak leaves and twigs with two or three leaves still attached litter everything, a cheerful seasonal confetti. A long, branching strand of Virgina Creeper clinging to the old brick smokehouse is autumn colored finally, boasting as much red and rust in its flat, serrated leaves as summertime’s leathery green.
The oak trees are getting the same idea, finding their oranges and browns slowly in dots and splotches and fading, bleeding edges. Although many of those leaves won’t fall, it’s nice to see them change.
Midmorning sunlight cuts across the space, dissecting the shade garden and illuminating hydrangea blooms, both the violet, velvety ones and the dried, sepia colored ones. Faded zinnias are left in darkness.
He is lighting and stirring the bonfire now. Smoke from the torched, oily pine branches jets upward, and the cold sunlight plays games with that too.
I love the opposite temperatures. Chills and breezes crawling up my spine and flesh-shrinking heat on my face. Sunglasses do a poor job of shielding me from either the heat or the smoke.
Some of the pansies and cabbages are still heavy from rain, still diamond studded. Their colors especially vivid. I cannot resist taking multiple snapshots of them. None of them are good. The real thing always shrugs off the imitations.
Ashes fall over us. Kittens scramble around new pallet decking. Logs crackle and collapse then pop again as the bonfire gains strength.
All of this puts us somewhere between breakfast and lunchtime. Also somewhere between summer and fall. Not a day for working, no plans for extravagance. Just a good, deep breath of opposites and comfort and steady transformation.