Monday, September 29, 2008

Falling for fall by Kat Magendie

My little log house is busy today, busy with being fall. This is Saturday, a few days before you all will read this YOG post, and on the television is the roaring cry of the crowd as they cheer on their team—college football is back in full swing. Tucked in between the roar and the shouts are commercials with beer and trucks and ducks selling insurance. There are men in helmets and uniforms, there is the crowd in their teams’ colors, there is the green field, the popcorn, soft drinks, hotdogs, the referees with their black and white stripes, the sweeping views of the college towns during breaks in the game.

I reach over and press the mute button when a particularly annoying commercial (wait, “annoying commercial” isn’t that an oxymoron?) is on, and there is this perfect fall afternoon happening right outside my screen door. The creek happy with the recent rain, a mother cardinal feeds a very loud and very insistent baby cardinal—I laugh at how he crosses from one side of the feeder to the other, squeak-squawking and shaking his tail feathers in impatience (the mother ignores him, and this makes me smile)—and a wind in the trees blows leaves up and around, the early dried leaves rustling. Here and there orange, red, and yellow tip the leaves on some of the trees in our cove, and there are giant vines that flame scarlet as they wind around, splashing a shot of red within the green. The air smells crisp and if I were to place my nose close to the ground, I’d smell the musty decay of foliage already fallen away. The mornings and evenings have turned cool, and I’ve retrieved my heavier bathrobe. In the little valley below, the city has begun to put up fall decorations: bales of hay, pumpkins, corn, and tall straw bundles. I saw the first Halloween advertisement a few minutes ago.

I am grateful to be sitting here on my couch, right here, right now, listening, watching, smelling the signs of fall. And there’s more to come: leaves will color in the Smokies and inspire art, poetry, song, and prose; there will be apple cider in the little tourist’s shops, first frost will dust the ridges and housetops, and peeking around the corner are the holidays. If spring is about re-birth, fall and then winter is the preparation for regeneration, the resting before the rising. The sleep after a long wake.


Patresa Hartman said...

"giant vines that flame scarlet..." that was so delicious, i've read it 4 times. i think it's the v-f's and t's and the flip of the l's in flame and scarlet.

and i really love the sound of football on the TV. why is that sound so comforting? is it associations with warm chili? some sort of throw back to patriarchal security? i don't know. but i adore it.

happy fall, ms. kat.

Terri Tiffany said...

You make me long for fall! All we have here are a few leaves on the ground but in 85 degrees and green grass all around-- it's hard to remember but you painted a beautiful picture! thanks!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Yum, I can almost feel/smell/hear it through your words. We actually had a not-so-blazing-hot-or-humid morning here recently. *gasp* ;)

The football game sounds on tv make an awesome background buzz to nap by.

Barbara Quinn said...

The leaves are starting to turn color here, the pumpkins and squash are at the farm stand, and the nights have that undertone of cold that is clearly fall. It's a pretty time of year and I enjoyed your sensory travels into the season.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank y'all for your comments - *smiling* -- went into Waynesville today and the red berries (the inedible kind) are FILLING those bushes, and more trees are turning- the church on the street we turned has its "Pumpkin Patch" with pumpkins everywhere for sale. Fall fall fall! Living in So Louisiana so long, I never knew all this existed *laugh*

Anonymous said...

Fall in the Smokies. Have never been there for it, but hope to one day. This means that the cooler air will be getting to BR soon. Thanks for the assist.

Kathryn Magendie said...

yes, Oren - soon the second of your two seasons will be there (haw haw!)...*grin*

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