Yes, I can feel the summer slipping away. The edges of the Linden leaves are fraying with yellow streaks, the wind has picked up and the park is littered with the bones of branches broken loose by it. The nights have cooled, making sleep that much sweeter with the windows open and the crisp breeze exploring the nooks and crannies of the apartment while we all dream. The sun, lazy and fat, has started taking a short cut across the sky, arriving later and later each morning and turning in earlier, painting the world blue at a time when only a few weeks ago it was still bright and hot. Our walks have grown more precious and we linger longer outside, Duncan rolling in the grass while I watch the clouds, gold and luminous, slip from west to east.
But it's not gone, as I was reminded this afternoon when Duncan and I climbed the stairs after our walk. Dunc dragged me home from the park and a brief stop at The Glen, but he was hurried and had little interest in playing fetch or chasing the dragonflies which are suddenly plentiful there. He pulled me home quickly, bypassing the small shrubs where the squirrels hide, to lead me up the stairs where we found, waiting for us on the railing, our little birds, the two hatchlings I wrote about only last night.
At first I didn't notice their presence but one of them, perhaps impatient waiting for me, chirped loudly, ruffled its feathers and skittered right then left. Duncan and I stopped in our tracks. He turned his smile up at me and thumped his tail against my calf, his hind end doing an excited little shimmy. "Why, hello, little birds," I said greeted them as I patted Roo on the head and scratched behind his ears.
Many times Duncan has led me to the things I need: a sunflower growing along the path, a moon, fat and gold, rising above the trees, a leaf caught up in the moment and dancing with the wind. He knows things about me that only a best friend can know, and I suppose he knew that last night my Autumn melancholy was beginning to set in. But The Universe knows things, too, and as it has so many times this summer, conspired to lift my spirits and remind me that if only we listen and look, the world is full of marvels, always easy to miss and never expected.
My little birds, perched and waiting to greet me, brought a smile to my face and have made this night so much sweeter.