After teasing us to varying degrees for the last several weeks, fall is now with us in earnest. I've been keeping a close eye on my next-door neighbors' tree, which hangs over my back deck and which I can see from the upstairs den window as I sit at the computer. Its slender green leaves are taking on a bit of fluorescence and a few already have begun to turn yellow. For the last two days, these lovely leaves have been making a wonderful rustling sound as a persistent fall breeze stirs them. Soon they will fall onto my deck in a blanket of yellow.
The morning light is arriving perceptibly later these days, too, which means that I am rising later. Most of the 7 a.m. dog-walking crowd at Congressional Cemetery is long gone by the time I arrive at the gate with Jacob and Amos. Although part of me misses my fellow dog-walkers, a bigger part enjoys the experience of walking alone in the cool morning air with only my two dogs and the spirits of the departed to keep me company. Call me crazy, but it does seem to me that the graveyard spirits, which are at peace for most of the year, make their presence known in the fall. Sometimes I imagine that they, rather than the wind, are responsible for the rustling of the cemetery's trees.
The waning light, cool air, changing leaves, and livening spirits all are beautiful reminders that time is marching on, as it always does, and that things never stay the same from one moment to the next. With a plummeting economy and an important election hanging in the balance, it is an especially apt time to reflect on these truths.