My Indian Summer

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson, Autumn Fires, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Fall is currently on full display in Humptulips County, turning country roads into dark silky ribbons wound through leafy fire, distant hills into patchwork quilts of otherworldly design, and the quality of the light into what must undoubtedly be the visual equivalent of the scent of musk. Winter is but a distant rumor in these days of Indian Summer, colors running roughshod over the nip of day by providing the same sort of internal warmth as suggested by the mere prospect of a cup of hot chocolate on a bleak Winter’s afternoon.

Despite lowered temperatures, I walk abroad in Autumn’s glory wearing only a light coat simply because its fires ignite my imagination and keep me warm. Fall’s warmth springs somehow from my endless curiosity about the tension between its all-too-evident vibrancy and its flagrant foreshadowing of death and decay. Its fires allow for pleasant contemplation of things simultaneously inevitable, incomprehensible and mysterious; things that lie beyond the reach of the senses I presently enjoy.

Since its rampant display is the annual preamble to Winter’s endless variations upon the panoplies of gray, I am wholly unable to comprehend the deep sense of satisfaction which Fall engenders in me. I began this piece with hope that I might shed light upon that mystery; I end it somehow knowing that only in Fall can I wallow in Nature’s sensuality without a worry or a care for my impending rest, but with the certain conviction that something of value surely lies ahead.


About Gavin Stevens

Humptulips County is the wholly fictional on-line residence of Stephen Ellis, a would-be writer, an avid fan of William Faulkner and his Yoknapatawpha County, and a retired lawyer.
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