The last roses of the season bloom in the autumn air. The dogs run in the back yard, barking their little fool heads off at a squirrel, a bird, the neighbors' dogs, or perhaps a passing pedestrian. The mornings are cool, the afternoons warm, and the nights clear and cold.
Autumn always incites a bit of longing in me. While I enjoy the cooler weather, the shortened days do not agree with me, the bleak winter looms, and my beautiful vegetation begins to succumb to the cool of the night. Already, I've lost my clematis, the lantana, the candymint, and the prairie daisies. The cool crept up quietly, gradually and nearly unnoticed, and I think my gardenia bloomed its last this summer.
From November to February, I live for the spring. Christmas hasn't held much excitement for me since the days of my youth. As an adult, the holidays are too often spoiled by the rushing, the tension, and the hassle. As I woke this morning, I heard birdsong in the back yard through the window above the bed. In the dawning morning, the sound of the bird singing sweetly filled my head with visions of greening grass and blooming flowers. Only upon full awakening did I remember the date.
But the promise of the coming spring, so near and yet still distant, will sustain me through the dark months, keep me hoping and longing for the new life that will surely greet me there. I'll pass the winter reading, planning, and yearning for the moment the crocus peeks through the cold January ground, a harbinger of the delicious spring joy only weeks away.
I'd never make it in Minnesota.