Sunday, September 04, 2011

Rocking chair thoughts on a Sunday morning

The early morning quiet lured me outdoors, offering an opportunity to lazily sit in the rocker on the porch in cool, mid-60s temps. The sun has not blazed through the morning haze ... the forecast said we may have rain today.

The lush, green, freshly-mowed grass, reaping the rewards of an exceptional August rainfall, is wet with dew. The birds are making their early-morning presence known, and very loud hawking crows don't care that some may be sleeping in on this holiday weekend. An incessant chorus of crickets chirp, "Fall is on its way."

There's not a breath of breeze to flutter the American flag that graces the porch 24/7.... the leaves on the river birch, ash, and maple trees are perfectly still. I'm in an oasis of solitude as I sit behind the porch railing looking out at the world.

As Tropical Storm Lee prepares to slam into the Louisiana coast, bringing two feet of rain to a region that prepares for but sometimes cannot sustain that amount of moisture, local weather forecasters warn of a half foot or more of rain heading toward the Shenandoah Valley.

Mother Nature has been kind to us this year. Though we had a brief spell of hot, dry weather during the heat of summer, the rains came often enough to re-green our brown, parched grass and water our thirsty vegetable garden. Perennials have provided beautiful splashes of color throughout the yard and all growing things have flourished. Early morning is the perfect time of the day to enjoy God's garden which is probably why one of my favorite hymns throughout the years has been "In the Garden."

And the crickets continue to sing their never-ceasing song.

Labor Day has offered a chance to slow down. We made a conscious decision to stay at home this weekend. Sure, it's the last fling for summer and many are off on that last big adventure before settling into their September-through-June schedule. As for us, we're adventuring here at home.

SWAC Husband awakened us Saturday morning with the aroma of cooking bacon and pancakes that we drizzled with Highland County maple syrup that was followed by football and board games and reading.

As I type, the lone bellow from a cow on a neighboring farm temporarily drowns out the loudness of the crickets. A dove coos in the distance. Those darn crows are still fussing at something.

Looking at the green jungle around me, it's hard to believe in a month the leaves will begin to turn colors and fall from the trees. Already, a sassafras in the back has turned red, a rogue reminder of what is to come.

Just now a sliver of sunlight cut across the yard revealing a blue sky filled with clouds. If the rain shows up, it won't dampen our mid-day cookout. We'll eat hearty no matter what ... grilled brats and chicken breasts, potatoes and tomatoes from the garden, carrots, garden salad with garden-grown cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, and mocha chocolate brownies.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don't forget what the crickets are saying: "Fall is on its way."

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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