Consequence of Childhood

It is happening…again. I can see the signs; I feel it as if it were a part of me. I suppose it is, you know — part of me. It has always been and will ever be so. Autumn is coming. Many of you do not see the signs, as you continue to vacation and picnic. But she is there, reaching out tendrils like long fingernails, stirring the air around us.

The clouds were different yesterday, as well as the hue of the sky. I saw a cricket three days before that — an obvious calling card. It was floating in the swimming pool, still alive. I lifted it up for my granddaughter to see, and we delighted in watching as it hopped away on wet pavement.

The sunlight casts shadows that are darker now. They are long and disappear into unassuming corners. I feel her presence, as if someone were standing silently, just beyond my right shoulder. Her breath, moist and smelling of decaying leaves, tickles my neck. She knows that I am aware of her, observing her stealth in broad daylight.

To the majority she will seem to come in on brisk feet — colorful, breezy, romantically. If only it were truly so. Look behind you, if you dare. She is already here.