She felt every bit as weather-beaten and time-worn as the splintered, gray wood on which she stood. Sitting down on the top step, she rested her elbows on her knees and, with both hands, brought the pretty red and white polka dotted mug to her lips. As she sat sipping her morning tea, she watched the dog she loved so much sprint after a rabbit she would never catch. Neither the quick-like-a-bunny bunny nor the big, silly dog was aware of the chain link barrier that separated them, assuring one’s safety and the other’s failure.
“This isn’t right,” she thought. Labor Day was a memory. The big sweet gum tree that she hated, (and loved,) had decorated the back yard with a smattering of citron-colored leaves. Just down the road, a happy-faced scarecrow and a family of pumpkins sat beside big pots of luscious, colorful mums on the neighbors’ front porch. Officially, it was autumn. But it was too hot. And too humid. “It should be cooler than this. I need it to be cooler than this.”
An almost smile ghosted across her face as the dog gave up chasing the rabbit to dance with a butterfly that waltzed just above her nose. Across the road, the trees shivered with excitement at the touch of a light, mellow breeze. The sky was blue, birds were singing and morning glories were blooming on the fence. In spite of the clinging, soggy heat, it was a pretty day. Yes, it was a very pretty day, but it brought her no joy.
Summer had been hard for her. In the season when the very clocks had been manipulated to ensure plentiful sunlight, her days had been dark. Like an over-protective mother, the humidity had knit a sweater from melancholy and draped it snugly around her shoulders. Oh, she was tired of feeling this way. She needed the crisp, cool darkness of autumn to wash over her and refresh her soul.
When the little wind tired of playing with the trees, it tiptoed over to where she sat steeping in her gloominess. Wrapping its soft, warm arms around her, it kissed her gently on both cheeks and then leaned in to murmur in her ear. “Hold on, my friend,” it breathed. “Fall is coming. It won’t be long.”
She took the last sip of her now cool tea, stood up and called to the dog. “I hope it’s tomorrow,” she said as she turned to open the back door. “I hope it gets here tomorrow.”