Shooting stars and drifting leaves

Fall is fully arrived, much before its time, if you ask me. (Though my kindergartner emphatically pointed out yesterday after school that it was the LAST day of summer… and then it wouldn’t be summer again for a long time.  sigh.)  Fall IS beautiful, though.  Glorious, radiant mornings that begin with a crisp coolness and ripen to warm, mellow mid-days.  Evenings with crystal clear skies and just a hint of a wisp of woodsmoke on the air.

It was an evening like that last night when I stepped out for my nightly walk with Gus.  We climbed up to the path and I paused to get my music going (I can’t help it– I just loving walking with my iPod.  I AM careful with traffic, and I do keep a watch out for zombies sneaking up on me.)  Glancing up in a gap between the trees, I saw a streak of light moving across the sky.  I barely had time to think, ‘boy is that plane moving,’ before the shooting star burned out and I realized that is what I’d seen.  It’s breathtaking– everytime you see one, isn’t it?

I remember not long after we moved to Marblehead, Will’s 4th grade science teacher encouraged the kids to get out for a particularly rare meteor shower that was happening.  Clay was out of town, but I dutifully woke Will and Chloe up and we went and sat on the beach at 3 in the morning (with lots of other stargazers) to watch the many, many shooting stars.  What fun.  I wonder if they remember times like that.  It seems like such a lifetime ago that it was just me and Will and Chloe (when Clay was out of town).  And it seems unbelievable that when Claire and Quinn are that age– 3rd and 4th grade– Will and Chloe will be off at college and I might find myself watching a meteor shower in the middle of the night with my littles (whom I might have to start calling by a different nickname by then!).  I wonder if the 4th grade still does the canoe trip…

But I’ve digressed from what I originally intended to write about, which was my walks with Gus in this change of seasons.  Now that school has started, he and I do a long walk most mornings.  Do I love taking up so much of my limited free time this way?  NO!  But on the other hand, I am outside, getting some nominal exercise… so, for now, while it’s beautiful out, it’s not so bad to be catering to the canine this way.  Further, I’ve realized how little time I’ve actually spent out walking the trails and streets through the seasons in past years.  I see so much with that dog that I haven’t gotten out to observe in years past– different flora (who knew we had so much poison ivy and so many burr plants near the house?) and fauna (the big fat skunk on the trail!).  And the leaves beginning to lazily drift to the ground, rolling acrobatically right in front of my face.  When it’s cold and miserable and I’d rather be running in the fitness room, then the walks will be a more onerous chore.

Let me finish my homemade americano– second cup– and then I’ll have to get that walk going.  Maybe I’ll treat myself to a coffee ‘out’ one of these days.  Meanwhile, I hope all of you out there– my coffee friends– have a wonderful first day of fall!

P.S.– Spare a thought for big Will today, by the way, he’s home sick with the headache/nausea thing again.  I’m making him an eye doctor appointment as soon as they open.



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