Along the Trail: Best is yet to come
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!