Slowly and deliberately, the mercury still climbs into the middle eighties. But mornings are much cooler and serve notice that Fall is advancing--one falling degree at a time. Each day, the sun stays closer to the edge of the horizon.
Sitting in our backyard, I can see--even smell--the advance of autumn. Everything green is losing its brilliance, and reveals splotches of gold and yellow. Thousands of leaves cast-off their bowlines that once anchored them to sweet gum and oak trees, and flutter to the rippled surface of the pond. Like miniature ships, laden with the last vestiges of summer, they sail away. Only days ago, Lantana, once dotted with hundreds of golden buds, is becoming a solid, muted, hedge of green. Butterflies, that floated above it in abandon, disappear earlier and earlier each afternoon. Above me, the skies are gray. Breezes sift through the trees and whisper, "Summer is past."
In the Southeast, we welcome the retreat of summer, and cheer the advance of cooler weather. Here in the countryside of Cataula, farmers are making a last-ditch effort to mow hay, churn it into wind rows, and roll it into huge, round, bales for one last harvest. Hunters pray for rain that will cause their food plots to spring up; they dream of coaxing a trophy-mount into range of their bows and long guns. It's about bragging rights. Hikers are unpacking their gear, checking the forecast, and romanticizing of trekking along winding trails, and spending the night around a campfire under a canopy of starry lights.
Before you know it we will be basting the turkey, gathering with family, and giving thanks for all that God has provided. Thanksgiving will meld into the Christmas season, and resolutions for the coming New Year will fill our journals.