As the year winds down, festivities compress what time remains. The usual events, rituals and traditions combine to make the last couple of months blur into a final season. I am grateful that Sarrah was able to be here for ‘The Holiday Season’, one more time.
Sarrah was part of my increasingly favored holiday and our recent annual tradition of gathering at The Beach House for a few days around Thanksgiving joining; us, my parents Esther and Stan, Nissa’s mom Gail, the cats and our beach neighbor friends Mike, Lori and Jessica for another extended weekend of giving Thanks. We individually gather and stay there for a few days, making the holiday more about being with family and friends than just an over planned annual meal. It seems the added time in this place allows the traditional stress to dissolve and the true flavor of giving thanks takes over. Sarrah was part of it all; inhaling all the smells of the cooking feast, scoring human food snacks, walking with her toes in the sand, barking orders at cats, collecting affectionate pats from all and constantly reminded me to be thankful. This year the quiet moments were a bit heavier and at times a little saddening, but moments like these helped me remember and define others.
Gradually the party is over, so our sun tells us. The days get shorter… crisp evening air blows in to bite again as it clouds warm breath. The bees hide, birds start to disappear, squirrels get busier and spiders decorate breezeways. This time of year is much quieter, as kids have school and other things to do reducing outdoor chaos in turn letting other senses take over. Slower moments of these shrinking days allow for quiet reflection and observation. Silently the annual bright green colors burn, rust and fall.
Walking amongst these yards displayed an assortment of new fun, as mine primarily has just lawn, bamboo, shrubs and dwarf trees. Several of the neighboring properties have huge leaf dropping trees. These giants of Maple, Oak and others drop their debris into piles on the lawns, sidewalks and streets. Sarrah delighted in the dry windswept gatherings of these leaves. She dove into piles and rustled them back into the wind. The crunch and flight of the red, orange, yellow and brown crackling confetti appealed to her sense of mischief and play. The little kook made me laugh, every time. The smells of autumn change as well. While outside you notice chimneys, awakening to smoke. These puffy grey and white plumes linger and scent the air. Sarrah gave Alder smoke a deeper sniff, she must have liked it.
Thanks to Sarrah my view on autumn changed toward a greater appreciation for this time of our year, instead of viewing it as the end of summer, enjoying this slower paced colorful season for its own unique moments.