I usually notice the change of light in mid-August, don't you? That's when Autumn begins to whisper in with that bluer, clearer light. It's just a whiff, barely noticeable at first. So is the twinge of dread I feel when I discern the change.
I am fond of Autumn. Of course, I love the foliage. The colors, in their late-summer deep maturity even before the miraculous change, are more vivid in this new sunlight. I enjoy the cool evenings, the picture-perfect crops ready for harvest, and the birds forming flocks for migration. Even the long knots of school buses seem perfectly matched for fall.
But fall it is, and with it comes the fall of my mood, the foreboding that winter is almost here. While I'm pleased that the yellowjackets are gone for the year, the butterflies are also no more. Only a few tree frogs still sing into the night. I hold my breath, hoping to see the hummingbirds just once more before they begin their long dangerous trip south. I miss them almost before they go. The summer plants languish at the end of their season, and I steel myself for the first killing frost.
I prepare for the long winter by taking stock of all my hand knits, lightly blocking the winter things - mostly to fluff them and prepare them for use. I wash and block the summer shawls and wraps one at a time, and put them away. I console myself with a survey of the warm wools in my wee knitting studio downstairs. Projects for the season's knitting are considered and refined in my head. I mentally stack the soft skeins against Winter's giant drafty door. Moodiness lifts at the thought of knitting through the winter in front of the fire, or spinning in the library accompanied by an audio book on the iPod.
Winter's icy fingers beckon. Give me wool.