The hot days of summer are slowing,
I open the door and Autumn dances in ,
In all of her brazen glory and childish splendor,
She breezes by with a cool morning kiss and a rustling of leaves.
“It’s about time!” Summer grumbled as Autumn swished past him with a cool kiss on his cheek and a swish of colorful leafy skirts.
“Summer you are such a grumbly old man!” Autumn laughed. “What a way to greet someone who is going to give you a much needed rest.”
And a much-needed rest Summer needed indeed. After the sabbatical he took last season (which actually is what he took every season through Autumn, Winter and Spring) Summer felt refreshed and ready to start this season anew. But true to Nature, all good things must come to an end. And Summer’s good thing ended the minute he walked in Spring’s door.
That is when Summer’s horrible season began. Oh, he thought it was going to be just fine when he took over for Spring. Spring had everything good to say about his season. The rains had been bountiful and had given all the trees and growing things a good start. But Spring failed to tell Summer that he went a little overboard and the flooding began. Now if anyone knows the human race, you can guess how angry they were when Spring mistakenly added more rain to the already swollen creeks and rivers and caused a myriad of wet mishaps that the humans were still trying to correct, even now.
When Summer took over for Spring on June 21, Spring assured him that all was good and well. Everything was well taken care of or so Summer thought. He shouldn’t have even begun to think that what Spring told him was even half the truth. The farmers were angry that they could not get into their soggy fields and most got a late start on planting. No one was even prepared for the hot days to come. And the bugs…oh the bugs that followed the wet season were atrocious. Summer knew he should have read the Book of Nature a little closer, but as always Summer was a little bit lazy and barely glanced at the book and Spring’s notations. He closed it after seeing an abundance of “OOPS” written all over the first few pages of the Book of Nature.
So Summer’s season started out in a bit of hot water…so to speak. And like a snowball rolling downhill, (to use old man Winter’s quote) troubles just seemed to grow. Summer tried to make things right by adding a little extra sunshine but with the humidity already in the air; well that just brought the huge severe thunderstorms,the hail, and the most dreaded of all….tornadoes. Tornadoes were the bane of Summer’s existence. They had been around since before grandfather’s season. No one really knew where they came from and even now, nobody could actually predict when or where they would pop up. They had a mind of their own and like a bull in a china shop, they caused destruction wherever they landed. But the humans were getting closer to figuring it out. Summer just wished they would do it soon. Tornadoes were not good for Summer’s reputation.
“Summer…” Autumn was waving a golden sunflower in front of Summer’s face. “Yoo-hoo Summer, are you listening to me?” She breezed.
Summer came out of his melancholy musings and focused on what Autumn was saying to him.
“Summer, you do daydream aplenty!” Autumn tittered. “Do you have anything to sip? The trip here was very hot and dry, and I am just parched!” Autumn gushed.
“I have some leftover lemonade.” Summer offered.
“Actually, I was hoping for a nice cup of spiced apple tea.” Autumn hummed.
Summer sighed. “Autumn, you know I don’t keep spiced apple tea in my cupboards. You ask me this every season. And I tell you every season, I don’t have any. You should try to bring some with you next time.”
Autumn chortled. “Oh Summer, there’s always hope for you. I know that one day you will be prepared for my arrival. I do have some packed in my suitcase.” She danced off, leaving a chill in the air.
Summer shivered. Ooh …Fall was in the air. Or rather Autumn was. Autumn was very meticulous about what her given name was. She did not think Fall was eloquent enough for her. It reminded her too much of stairs and skinned knees. She much rather liked to be called Autumn. It sounded colorful and cool. There was no arguing with Autumn about this. Summer learned long ago, that Autumn looked sweet and calm on the outside, but make her angry by calling her Fall and she could give you one of the frostiest looks that would freeze even old man Winter on his coldest days.
Summer sighed. He had better get his suitcase packed. He still needed to put his finishing notes in the Book of Nature. Today was September 23, the first day of Autumn’s season. Autumn would be moving in with all of her cool weather belongings. Autumn was prepared for anything…you could tell by the many numerous suitcases and boxes that she had packed for her season.
Summer once asked Autumn if she really needed all that stuff.
With a frosty look Autumn replied, “Summer… one must be prepared for anything. Oh my goodness, don’t you remember the year that you mistakenly left some of your summer heat behind and it got up to ninety plus degrees here for the whole month of October. I had to actually dig out some of my short sleeved green leafy outfits to stay cool.” She continued, “And remember the year old man Winter forgot what day it was and mistakenly showed up with snow in September. That was one of the coldest seasons I have ever endured! I am lucky that I brought my wool coat and snowshoes that year. Well, that is why I have to be prepared. Humph!”
Autumn had sighed and flounced away in her leafy skirts. Summer made a mental note to himself, that he would not ask Autumn that question again.
Summer finished packing his one suitcase. The Book of Nature was finally completed for this season. He remembered to write about the flooding waters from Spring. And then there were the many insects including the grasshoppers, though not invited this season, that had come back three fold this year. Summer had been cursed with these buggers for four years now. And he saw no end in sight to get rid of these unwanted pests. Heck, the pesky little buggers would probably don mittens and scarves and try to eat their way through Autumn and old man Winter’s seasons. They were in the same category as the misquitos, flies and gnats. They were a pain in the royal neck.
Summer also noted the hot days and severe storm days. However one good note was that even through all this, the flowers had bloomed beautifully and the crops had turned out wonderfully. Of course, there was that incident with the oil spill and a few ruined crops. But that wasn’t his fault. He blamed that on Spring and human error. Spring would have to take the brunt of that blame. Besides,he knew personally that the farmers had been well compensated for that mess. And of course he forgot about the wild fires that were still raging caused by a bit of miscommunication. Try as he might he couldn’t get Mother Nature to send enough rain down to put them all out, and he didn’t know if his messages were clear enough but sometimes instead of sending rain, Nature just sent thunder and lightning and that made it worse because lightning had no conscience whatsoever. The electric terror loved to start wild fires. And along with Thunder, his partner in crime, they caused more damage than good. And so on and so on.
No worries he thought as he closed the book, Autumn would fix it all. She was good at that. She would cool down the hot angry earth with her cooling rains and dropping temperatures. And if that didn’t work than she would get a bit frosty. And if all else failed and she got desperate enough, Autumn would humbly call on Old man Winter to send some of his white stuff a litte bit early. Summer knew that would be Autumn’s last ditch effort because Autumn did not like to ask for help.
Summer knew Autumn would never forgive him for starting all the wild fires. But what could he do. You can’t argue with Mother Nature for recieving the wrong message. Of course, Summer didn’t blame himself for sending the wrong messages. One good thing was that Autmn had a whole year to cool down before she saw Summer again. and by then all would be fine and dandy and Autumn would be a cool breath of fresh air again.
Summer looked around to see if he forgot anything else. Already the place was taking on Autumn’s personality. The leaves were beginning to turn colors of gold, red and orange. The first frost had settled in some places which had caused the garden plants and flowers to wilt. The pumpkins were turning orange on the vine and Mr. Harvest Moon was a round orange circle in the cool night sky.
Summer could not understand, however, how Autumn could handle this time of year with all the trees shedding their beautiful green leaves and the beautiful flowers wilting and turning brown. But Autumn just sighed and said, “The earth is just settling down for the long winter sleep, Summer. And I am here to sing it a lovely lullaby. Summer you should know what a good rest does for the soul.”
That, Summer did indeed know because he was looking forward to this one. So with a warm goodbye Summer bid Autumn a final farewell for the season.
Summer was long gone when Autumn finally finished unpacking. It was time to sit down, put up her feet and take a sip of that nice warm cup of spiced apple tea. And time to get acquainted with the Book of Nature for another season. As she opened the book, Autumn squealed in surprise.
“Summerrrrrrrrrrr….” She yelled.
But it was too late. Summer was all the way down Nature Lane when Autumn made her discovery. If he did hear Autumn he pretended not to. Summer disappeared around the bend skipping and whistling like a small child on a warm summer day.