There’s a difference, isn’t there, between knowing an event is approaching, and actually experiencing it.
Last night (okay, early this morning), I got home from work and the air was an icy knife down my throat and into my lungs. Shivering was less than twenty feet away, walking from where I’d parked Blue and into the house. I was wearing my pale blue jacket with the hood; it’s lined, so it’s generally good for temperatures in the forties.
But not so much for the mid-thirties. There’d be frost on the ground before too long, I decided, and hurried through the house to the back porch to rescue my poor hibiscus.
My lovely bushy fellow is decidedly not the Rose of Sharon variety. He is vulnerable to cold, and could not winter over in our climate… which is why he resides in a flowerpot and spends the winter under the window in my library/home office.
Though last night I was wondering if I’d finally pushed his limits too far; he was wilted and drooping in every leaf, every nascent flower bud yet to develop (he’s been blooming steadily, one to five flowers, one after another after another, for about three and a half weeks now). He’s recovered this morning, but I think it’s time to bring him in permanently.
That same icy touch was on the Bluff this morning. The skies were clear, the eastern horizon a vivid orange I remember from the beginning of the year, and climbing the goat trail, I could feel the cold radiating off the rocks even through my gloves.
And part of me was silently wailing, It’s too soon for frost! It’s too early for winter jackets and multiple layers! Less than a month ago I was sweltering and waving away blood-sucking bugs when I climbed this hill! But it’s really not “too early.” It’s nearing mid-October; the local earth is winding down into the long sleep; the critters are finding places for their own naps, or growing thick coats to protect them from wind and weather as they forage under the coming snow.
Winter is coming. And with it, the cold that creates vivid colors in the morning sky.