Along the Trail: Best is yet to come

The Victoria Standard - - Commentary - CHUCK THOMP­SON

Septem­ber of­ten sets peo­ple “a flut­ter.” My grand­mother used to say it sent them to the “feath­ers” as in go­ing to bed and pulling the cov­ers up over them. Sum­mer has passed, the nights grow long, and there is a chill in the air. Peo­ple start to get down­hearted as the sea­son fades to mem­ory. For me, bring it on! I live for au­tumn. There is no bet­ter sea­son. As one friend put it so well, “If I could find a place where it is al­ways Oc­to­ber, I would move there!” I would be his neigh­bour.

Sum­mer of 2017 was spec­tac­u­lar in many ways: long, dry days, one af­ter an­other, high tem­per­a­tures, a great time to “get out and about.” All true if you carry a golf club or life pre­server around all the time and sun­screen is your favourite liq­uid. But if your poi­son is river fish­ing, this sum­mer was a write off. To­tally. There is a river level mea­sur­ing gauge at the end of our drive­way and En­vi­ron­ment Canada is the op­er­a­tor. When I asked the tech­ni­cian what the wa­ter level was, he said it was the low­est since he started back in ’04. Not a good year to be a trout.

Gar­den­ing was tough, and ru­ral folks took to the now an­nual, late sum­mer tra­di­tion called “look­ing down the well!” For a lot of good folks, it has been a wor­ri­some sum­mer, to say the least.

But the sea­son has be­gun its slow turn to au­tumn. Most morn­ings the grass is cov­ered with wet spi­der webs, the lawn has re­ju­ve­nated it­self, and many of our lit­tle mi­gra­tory birds have left for the South. Good rid­dance to the hum­mers, I say: they fight more than a dance at the old North Sydney Fo­rum. The black flies have died down to a liv­able amount, there is a hint of colour in the trees, and soon, very soon, fresh pro­duce will be picked from our mod­est gar­den and our house will fill with the smells of pick­les and jams.

The lit­tle cabin at the end of the drive­way will fill with friends and fam­ily full of bois­ter­ous chat­ter and laugh­ter. An­tic­i­pa­tion of the salmon’s re­turn will run high. Rods will bend and reels will turn. Cheap cigar smoke will fill the air and some will have “one too many.” The an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of au­tumn with long-time cher­ished friends will be re­newed and life will be good. Win­ter is still a ways off and a light down vest is all one needs to be out and about in the still warm days.

If you like sports, Oc­to­ber is an orgy of tele­vised events (not uni­ver­sally revered in some house­holds!) Base­ball play­offs flour­ish, foot­ball fills the screen and many, many events are go­ing on at the same time. It is the high wa­ter mark of the “Sports junkie!” If it went on an­other two weeks, I would be stock­ing up on “Murine” for my eyes.

Sum­mer is gone, weep not for me. The best is yet to come!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.