Monday, September 1, 2008

Samaras

We walked early, perhaps only to catch the last fleeting signs of August and the Summer we are fast leaving behind. I dread the shift into Autumn, which, perhaps, is the very cause of my fierce love for Summer. I have spent much of the past three months memorizing the colors and textures, the scents and shades of the world because they are the only things which buoy me through the bleeding sunsets of Autumn and the naked bones of Winter.

Little has changed, of course, except perhaps for the sky, which seems to have pulled a little further away, is still big but in a more distant way. Summer skies, intimate and near, heavy as berries, are the kind you can almost reach up and touch, rub with the tips of your fingers, staining them with blue residue. September skies retreat from touch and look down on us at a great distance, cool and reserved, uninterested in our meager goings-on.

It seems only a few weeks past that the samaras were still pink and curling, heavy with juice, the tree limbs drooping under their collective weight. Walking among them, bending down to step through the dusk-lit caves created by the arced boughs on which they rested, I imagined them the fat fleshy thumbs of garden gnomes, captured by marauding trolls in the early hours and hung up to dry like trophies or warnings.


Now they are dust chimes rattling in the breeze, their music and life blanched by August's breath. Many of the trees, standing their full height for the first time in months, have shaken them loose, littering the ground at their feet with fossilized brown paper dragonfly wings.


But many, the sturdy ones, still cling in tight fist-like clusters to the branches on which they've hung for so long, flying in that unique way that belongs to leaves and kites alone. And when they do finally decide to let go and fall, to mingle with the sweet embrace of gravity before they kiss the earth, where they will rest forever, they delight the eye of children, fluttering in splashes of gold which whirl and spin wildly like the rotors of nature's helicopters, softening their landing as they hum the last bars of summer's song.


2 comments:

Greg said...

Another post of beauty. Yours is a keen eye that sees the world. I don't know about the samaras, but do know those whirly-gig seedpods from other species. Those sound large, though. (OMG, the thumbs image...)

They are always fun to watch spinning through the air...and that sounds like just the sort of activity to slow the transition from summer to fall.

We are lucky on the Cape. Labor Day gives us back our roads and beaches, and then September and the Gulf Stream give us a little extra summer to enjoy them before the seasons begin to shift.

caboval said...

Curt it seems only yesterday we were basking in the fragrance of the russian olive tree! Those pink {leaves?} look like beautiful butterfly wings! I have never seen those before!