The calendar says August, the month of 'dog days" and sweltering heat, but the breeze from the north is cool and refreshing. I sit in the glider on the deck with a book in my hand, reading while the wind chimes play their tune and hummingbirds flit about, performing aerobatics with incredible speed and precision.
To what do we owe this respite from summer? Autumn is still more than a month away. One branch of the dogwood thinks it's autumn already; its leaves have bronzed and stand out against the green forest curtain — willow oaks, a chestnut oak, a Bradford pear, pines and sweet gums — as the yard slopes away from where I sit. A few leaves have given up the fight for life and have fluttered to the ground to lie in the grass awaiting the rake I have not yet unsheathed. The pines know it's nearly time for fall; they are as far ahead as the stores' displays of Halloween and Thanksgiving wares. Pine needles litter the lawn and the driveway. I will collect them, heap them into a pile and use them for mulch in the plant beds.
But raking can wait. Let me savor this afternoon of low humidity, blue skies intersected by high, filmy clouds, and that breeze from the north that blows away all my worries for just a little while.