This happens every fall, the rains come amid the time of ripest color in the hills and pummels the leaves from the trees. Most years the autumn rain signals the end of the riot of pigment that spreads across the ridges. A breeze comes and pushes the sodden leaves from their branches. This fall I have hopes that the rains have come just a smidgen too early.
I am sitting here on our sun porch above the valley as evening light weakens in a drizzling rain that has lasted all day. Oh, the rain has taken its share of the golden leaves. This morning they swirled and eddied around the house as we, inside, begrudged each one making its way earfthward. But, this evening we still have color in the timber, leaves hanging on waiting for some more October sunshine and painted blue sky. Yes, the woods are less dense now; you can see further into the trees. But, without a strong wind tonight we will have more golden autumn days ahead.
Already we have marked off a few of our alloted golden fall days. Together with our daughter and grandchildren we have loaded a couple of ATVs with a picnic and headed into the countryside. We careened up dry creek beds, meandered down country roads known to only a few, and visited old house places back in the timber that are no longer connected to roads. It was truly wonderful, and left us wanting more.
But even rainy fall days have their compensations. With guests enscounsed in their cabins, I suspect they are on the porches listening to the patter of the rain on tin roofs. And, often this time of year sleep comes early, peaceful and long.