Mother Nature could be one of my Mexican neighbors. To her, time is not as important as relationships.
The calendar may say that fall arrived two weeks ago. But Mother knows best.
For the past two weeks we have had mid-summer weather in the Willamette Valley. Two weeks that now look like a lovely parting gift. Because summer is at an end.
When I headed out the back door to work yesterday, the sky was almost clear. But the light blanket of warm humidity I had grown accustomed to was gone. Replaced by a lovely 45 degree briskness. Perfect for an equally brisk walk to work.
But not everyone got the memo about fall. Bushtits and sparrows were doing their melodic best to defend their ever-decreasing territories. Before they pack up their bags and head south. Leaving room for the juncos to move in once the snows start in the Cascades.
This blog once referred to the author as "a boy from Powers." That was partially true. My family lived in Powers when I was young. But we moved to the Portland area after my third grade.
I have some very fond memories of living in Powers. Especially, of my grandmother's house. Whenever I would stay there. I would rise early and feel the chill of fall mornings in the coastal mountains. The same chill I felt this week.
There were always boyish battles to fight. Over the years, I had collected a variety of toy soldiers I stored in an old Maxwell House can. West Point cadets. War of the Roses knights. Roman legionnaires. Battle of the Bulge infantry. It was almost as if Toy Story had merged with Night at the Museum.
But battles need a purpose. Each side in these vegetable garden set-tos had a queen. A symbolic queen plucked from a fuchsia bush.
For some reason, fuchsias always reminded me of ballerinas. Perhaps it was the toxic of effect of too much Nutcracker Suite at a young age. And I assumed all ballerinas were queens.
By the time the battles were complete, the sun had its effect on the poor fuchsia blooms. What was once a thing of beauty was soon reduced to a flattened mat of color. An early lesson of the futility of war.
Yesterday morning I walked through the grounds of my old law school. And there it was. A fuchsia bush along the walkway. Boyhood memories started tumbling out of my head.
I have no idea what became of my coffee can soldiers. Maybe they are the playthings of another boy now.
Trying to fight off the effects of the seasons as futilely as the lonely bushtits and sparrows.