20 days/28 minutes/10 years

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09.01.14  The first of September.  i feel like Sesame Street’s Count, in his spooky black cape, with all of this tracking by numbers, but it’s hard this time of year not to think of Time in various calculations.  There are still 20 days until the Autumn Equinox, but there is no denying that Summer is over now, even if you want to call this Labor Day the final day of Summer, which we don’t, here, with our cool air, cloudy skies, golden fields and red leaves already developing in the trees.

Lighting a candle for the first time of the season this morning, I read in the paper that we are currently losing two minutes of light in the morning and two minutes at night.  If you do the calculation for just one week, we will have lost 28 minutes of light.  If you want to carry that out until the Equinox, we’ll have lost 80 minutes of light–that’s one hour and twenty minutes less light, just 20 days from now.  It’s enough to make me shudder, when I start counting like this.

We had friends from Napa staying with us last week.  They had flown across the country and back in their little one-engine plane, using a carry-on oxygen tank when they had to go up to 15,000 feet in altitude to clear the mountains on their way to our big valley.  Norm is a seasoned and experienced pilot, but when Peggy spread her navigation maps across the length of our kitchen island, she totally agreed with me when I said, “What an amazing adventure you two are doing!”

She responded, “Ten more years…that’s it!”  Norm is 70, or nearing 70 years of age (only a few years ahead of me) and by 80, he will be running out of runway.  As will I.  Ten more years–what a calculation to try to wrap my head around.  No wonder I’m going to Ireland with Sarah and Nick at the end of this month to ride my bike around the cliffs and moors, drink beer and hear good music, and be in the precious company of my family.  In the meantime, I think I’ll just take off that black cape, slow down as best I can,  and let myself fall in love with this beautiful new season, Fall.

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