Sunday, September 26, 2010

Delightful Synchronicity

Well, the staggering, oppressive heat, breathlessly stagnant air and endless weeks without rain no sooner got the best of me than I found myself rejoicing. This was an incredible day. It started miserably enough with having to rinse the road dust from the car before I could even get in and go shopping. As I cranked the air conditioner, adjusted my sun glasses and flipped down the visor to shield myself from the blazing sun, I found myself wondering how I could at least pretend that Fall was approaching. There has been absolutely no inclination to pull out Autumn decorations and it's even been too hot to tend to end-of-season gardening matters.
The thought of 'pretending' passed from my mind almost as soon as it entered and I found myself sinking into that occasional "I miss Alaska" funk. The dirt roads that usually give me so much pleasure as they wind from farm to farm, past open fields and through the shaded tunnels created by the overhanging oaks looked somehow devoid of life. The late-season offering of weeds and wild plants that always overtake the roadside ditches were especially unlovely and dull. I noticed the Goldenrod beginning to bloom, it's bright yellow flower tassels barely discernible beneath the layers of dust.

Then I noticed something extremely unusual. My thoughts lingered on the Goldenrod. Normally, I would have cursed it knowing that it would wreak a havoc with my sinuses in a day or two that would last for weeks. But this morning I actually saw it as a sign that Fall really might be on its way. My spirits were lifted a little and I began to think of the lovely Fall colors and my intention to purchase big mounds of mums for the front porch. "But, it's too early", I told myself. And, I hadn't completely convinced myself to spend the money. At $20 a plant, that would add up to $60 and if the price had gone up this year, it could be, maybe, $75. humm.
I just didn't know. I put the thought aside so that I wouldn't be disappointed.

I usually shop at only one store but it doesn't carry my old-fashioned, percolator type, coffee filters, so I needed to run into a little local shop somewhat out of the way. When I pulled into the parking lot, I could hardly believe my eyes...potted cushion mums almost as far as the eye could see. Still unconvinced that I wanted to spend the money, I tried to stay on task, "Coffee filters. Coffee filters", I told myself. But then, just as I stepped from the car, a woman with a hose came out to water them. Before I could stop myself, I heard myself ask the price. "FIVE DOLLARS?!?!" I couldn't believe it and before I knew what had happened, I was joyfully loading three of the monster plants into the back of my car. I almost forgot the coffee filters completely.

I was so excited with my find that I got to the big store and finished my shopping almost before I knew I had arrived. Hurrying my cart to the checkout lane, I happened to pass a display of all-natural, pressed apple cider. Now, that is a staple at my house during cold weather but certainly not appropriate quite yet. Still, as though on auto-pilot, I grabbed a gallon and hurried on.

Anxious to get home and place my flowers, I hardly noticed the clouds roll in and was almost finished putting groceries away when I thought I heard the faintest sound of distant thunder. I looked up from my work and, sure enough, the sun was gone and the sky had grown dark.

Within minutes, the breeze kicked up and leaves began to flutter to the ground. I was suddenly a woman on a mission. The cinnamon candles I had just purchased on sale and tucked away for the holidays came right back out. I lit them and placed them everywhere. Suddenly it felt like Fall had arrived. I opened the front door just as the rain began to fall bringing with it all the sweet smells of clean air. I just stood there, looking, listening, absorbing the glory of it all. Then I remembered the cider.

For fully two hours, I sat on the porch watching the rain fall, listening to the thunder roll across the sky from horizon to horizon, sipped my hot cider and smiled. Flowers that I had not intended to buy - cider that willed its way into my cart - candles that were for another purpose, could it get any better than this on the day that Autumn finally arrived?

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