THERE IS SOMETHING about late August and early September in Minnesota that is comforting, yet tinged with melancholy. Comforting in the hope of harvest. Melancholy in that summer is all but a closed chapter in our book of seasons.
In the morning, fog lingers after nights that necessitate the closing of windows, the pulling on of blankets. But then, as the day progresses, the chill gives way to heat and humidity. It’s as if summer and autumn are tugging at the weather blanket.
Beyond the weather, there exist undeniable visuals of the seasonal changes, best observed during a drive in the countryside. I am a firm believer in the value of a Sunday afternoon drive to notice that which all too often passes unseen and unappreciated. So this past Sunday, my husband and I followed blacktop county and back gravel roads through the up-and-down terrain of rural Rice County.
We have neither smart phones or a GPS, thus rely on our over-sized 1994 Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer and our sense of direction (the husband’s, not mine) to navigate when necessary. Mostly we just drive, turning when we please.
It doesn’t take much to please me. Simply by being in the country, I experience a sense of peace. All is well in the world as I notice the seasonal changes of corn leaves morphing from green to parched. I can visualize combines roaring across the land, golden kernels spilling into grain trucks.
In and along road ditches, clusters of goldenrod bloom.
And when I look across the landscape, I see that tinge of color creeping into trees, the browning of the green that teases autumn into our days. Flowers are fading. A red barn seems redder in a land that is growing more subdued and muted. Grain bins stand at the ready.
I love autumn. It is my favorite season. Yet, I am reluctant for the chapter of summer to end. For I know that all too soon, I will be immersed in the chapters (plural) of winter.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling