Leaves of yellow, brown, and gold release their hold on my neighbor’s poplar tree to dance through the air and land on the frosted browning green grass of my lawn. Some make it all the way across the yard. Others drop just beyond the closest fence. The temperatures have dipped into the twenties the last couple of nights. So instead of sitting on my patio, I sit in my comfortable chair to view the outside landscape. This daily dose of nature keeps me centered. So grateful for my warm home and my den with its large window which gives me a ringside seat as nature changes her outfit for the new season. Usually, as the temperature dips so does my mood. But surprisingly, I don’t feel it happening this year. How nice!
Last February, I remember a writing a post about possibly being in the winter of my life. I never relish thoughts of winter with its freezing temperatures and rain which weigh down my crepe myrtle with ice coats that bend it closer to the earth. Winter is an end or at least the beginning of the year’s end. While I’ve certainly gotten older, there are so many things yet to do, people to meet, things to learn, stories to write, grandchildren to watch grow and flowers to plant. Too many things to do for this to be the winter of my life.
When I was a child, we called these late October warm days Indian Summer. But for many this phrase can bring back memories of upsetting events. No need to cause unnecessary pain. And besides what does it even mean? I abandon my armchair for my desk chair and take a quick turn around the internet looking for alternative names. Besides, it was time to stop woolgathering and start writing. I look for alternative names I could identify with.
European’s have many different names for this season, badgers' summer, old wives' summer or second summer. I think I like second summer best. It certainly describes our late October weather with highs in the eighties. During this second summer, I was surprised to see a late violet bloom and another round of pink blushed white blossoms on my peace rose. Even more remarkable was the blossom on a pink coneflower that had laid dormant since late September.
My fingers pause over my laptop as I look back to the polar tree. I see it’s still holding on to some of its leaves which shimmer in sunlight. Each yellow, brown. and gold leaf waves at those of us below. Second summers don’t have a definite interval before slipping into winter. I can be in the second summer of my life as long as I want. As long, anyway, as I can continue to do the things I love and remember to keep up my practice of gratitude for this life I have, good health, a warm home, loving family and friends and finally, time to pursue my writing. So here’s to second summers, may they last long.