It’s been winding down for some time now, the season of finality, in the outdoors at least, in which what has been done is done, and what has not been done won’t get done until at least next year.
Our September and October were quietly filled with canning, cleaning, and not a few indulgences – all of them shared with good friends.
Then it turned off very cold here two nights ago, and put a period on the sentence of early fall. It is an appropriate moment in which to pause and look back.
We are winterizing now, and have a fire in the fireplace each night. Early as it seems to us, in fact this timing is about right. Tomorrow is the Toussaint, and the cemeteries will be overflowing with hardy chrysanthemums. Amid the dying of nature all around us, the fields and forests, we honor also our own dead, and remember.
For the French this is a somber occasion, but we Americans, even longtime expats as we are, harbor a certain playful mischief about the holiday. No jack-o-lanterns here, but we cannot help but play jokes and feel good and turn up the music. This is not very French of us, but then there is no one else within earshot.
Like the chickens and cat and dog who are all fluffy and fat and settling down earlier each night, we are also submitting to the short days and heavier clothes, snuggling in for winter, contented.
Let what has been done be done, and let what has not been done wait. For now we are at equilibrium, and at peace.