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Poor Will's Almanack: September 17 - 23, 2019

fall leaf
Flickr Creative Commons

The time of early fall is an ambivalent time, a time of being on the edge. Summer is not really gone, but foliage is aging quickly and flowers are disappearing. The days may be warm and humid, but the sun is a March sun and could rise to frost on any morning.

I experience a vague excitement now, am in suspense as to just when the wind will change, look forward to the cold, feel relief at the end of the Dog Days, but I also wish that the season did not have to change so quickly.

And I enjoy lying between two very distinct spaces in the turning of the Earth, in a brief respite from clarity, disconnected and suspended in solitude.

This is a kind of twilight sanctuary, like luxurious waiting half asleep for daybreak, serious decisions in abeyance, choice still possible, dreams gone but their imprint still set in my brain like the impression of a wrinkled pillowcase on my cheek.

In September, I walk back to those places from which color and fragrance have faded but which have left marks of transition and renewal. I walk into the nostalgic dusk between fluorescence and rebirth, to an interim of faith in which I withhold commitment and certainty, and taste a momentary, delicious suspension of disbelief.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Early Fall. In the meantime, bask in the twilight between seasons, suspend your progress toward winter, procrastinate.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.