It's happening...the magical spell of a Fall Night is upon us. The crickets are quieting, the cicadas are asleep and the moon takes on mystery as it rises orange and freezes to cold white! Listen...the sounds of baring trees are scratching the sky and the night birds and animals are on the prowl.
Summer's audience is leaving the theater. The sounds of late night conversations give way to nature's quiet nightly meditation. There's a growing silence, a peaceful silence that only the encroaching dark can offer. And each night more and more dark and less and less sound transforms the night this time of year.
The curtain on the summer excitement is lowering and a peaceful and quiet calm is beckoning the stars to shine a little brighter. There's a chill in the air like a premonition of things to come...quiet, cold times. The time of year to take stock, to slow down, to rest and refurbish that which was overused in the summer's sun. A natural rhythm of sorts. The hostas show their browning leaves and the stark bare stems of the coneflower offer only their barren seed pods. Daylilies, which reigned supreme in July are nowhere to be found. Brilliant colors of day hide the birds busy with gathering and storing...they know! There's a rain of acorns from above as squirrels create an inventory frenzy trying to gain a surplus to withstand the coming winter.
As I stand outside in the dark, becoming part of the waning rhythm of the seasons, I listen and look to the sky, to the moon to the invisible breezes that usher in a new life form called Autumn. Such a gift to quiet us and stop our speeding thoughts and actions and make us think to slow and be present in one moment only. I stand there in the night with my pal, the dog, as she is busy discovering the new scents that falling leaves and baring branches bring. I hear a rustle in the leaves as a nocturnal something roots for food or shelter and then ...quiet. Quiet that is all encompassing...embracing!
And then...out of the deep, dark quietude...it calls... Who who Whoooo. And again...Who who whooo. Yes the thing we knew as children in storybooks is there in the night welcoming the darkness of fall. The beautiful, solitary owl. I hear him from the south end of the trees out back. I know there is no chance of catching a glimpse but the company of such a beautiful, mystical bird is all I need to make my ears perk, my heart soar and my spirit look forward to the coming months of late fall.
So with this I give you my one and only OWL SWEATER! Yes, a silly and trivial way to depict such a majestic bird but still the image conjures a feeling of nighttime and mystery. That very setting that calls me each evening to go out and listen, look and experience the amazing changes that take place this time of year. How the night transforms into the greatest show on earth!