Autumn Days

Fall arrived seven days ago by the calendar. It arrived this week for our own boys of summer as the Red Sox completed their ignominious slide. Here on the Vineyard, however, warm temperatures persist like some houseguest on vacation who has overstayed her welcome. Sweaters and socks are still folded away in drawers, waiting for that first snap of bracing cool air. Purple and white asters dot fields and roadsides but even the fall wildflowers are looking a little wilted in the heat, as if — hey — someone tricked them into coming out before it was really time. We’re still swimming in the ocean, showering outdoors and going barefoot on weekends as if it were August. Except it’s not, of course. For one thing the crowds are gone and it’s just us and the fishermen on the beach these days. And the days are growing shorter; the western horizon is streaked with pink sunsets by suppertime these days. Pretty soon we’ll be rushing out to walk the dog before five o’clock in darkening skies, wrapped to the chin in polar fleece.

Soon, but not quite yet. There is still plenty of golden autumn to enjoy with a first frost just around the corner. October begins tomorrow.