Is this still Indian Summer? Or just a dry, lazy fall when the sun shines with moderate warmth almost every day, but the frost creeps over everything at night? The leaves have most turned from green now, some yellow, some orange, some red, and a few millions of them shades in between: tumeric gold, lime mixed with lemon, russet red, bland pie-crust tan.
Maria and I walked to the university library yesterday, in fleece jackets that we unzipped once the hill blocked the wind and the sun was on our backs. The sidewalks were warm through the soles of my shoes, and the dried grasses along the walk crumbled crisply when I fingered them. It felt good to scuff the layers of cottonwood leaves underfoot and the wind played with us, grabbing handfuls more from the branches and scattering them over our rumpled path. Then a car would hum by, and a drift of dry, weightless foilage swirled after it in a quiet wake.
I want to decorate for Thanksgiving. I see fat miniature pumpkins and fragile maple leaves, dried to perfection. I want to trace my hand and try to turn it into a turkey. We need to warm up the apple juice and add cinnamon sticks, to make desserts full of walnuts and pecans and pumpkins and squash. We should rake the leaves and scatter them again, we should carve a pumpkin, just for fun, and let the candle-light smile at us while the seeds brown in the oven.