I felt it the other day.
It seemed early,
But there it was.

In the cities
Summer is still in full force,
Middle afternoon temperatures,
Continuing to reach the
“Oh!  I think I’m going to melt!” stage,
Wishes for swimming pools
And air conditioning
Still very much on people’s minds.

But here,
Among the waning sunflowers,
And the cooling breeze off the mountains,
The quality of light has changed,
The sense of things in the air,
The whispered expectation.

Soon the leaves will color,

The tree up the road,
The one that always goes first
Has started already,

And with the coloring
There is a feeling,
An inspiration,
A longing for distance.

Now is the time of road trips,
Of heading east,
Of rest stops,
And truck stops,
Of miles and miles of interstate,
With windows full open
And billboards that make us laugh.

It’s a time of deciduous forests,
Of thick, humid air,
Of narrow paved roads
Lined dense with trees,

Of sitting by the ocean
With its rocky cliffs
And crashing waves,
Its screeching birds
And lighthouses.

Of time spent in a world
That is not arid
But wet
And fecund
And abundant

With plants
And people
And culture
And connection.

A world that is not home
But is restorative
And nourishing nonetheless.

A world
That I will not see this year
But that comes floating in
On the fall air.

©2016 Annette Meserve