Old notebooks. They line a shelf on my desk holding ideas, thoughts, seeds of a story. They wait patiently for me to open their pages and find a word or phrase that will spark something new. Sometimes there are surprises, like the other day when I was searching for an entry I could use in a demonstration lesson. I opened the notebook that has been a source of inspiration in the past, the one with the blue suede cover, and out fell a newspaper clipping from October of 2002. It was an article from the food section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. I remember being so impressed by the beautiful language of the author that I was compelled to save it. Here are the lines that grabbed me back in 2002 and once again last week:
It is an awkward, conflicted moment – football’s thunder drowning the final gasp of professional baseball – when backyard tomatoes seem to have overstayed their welcome, elbowed by the rush of early pumpkins, and beets, and a new crop of apples.
-Rick Nichols, Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist
It’s a beautiful description of fall and got me thinking of how difficult it is, sometimes, to transition to a new season, especially summer to fall. It’s been unseasonably warm here in PA, but last week the temperatures dropped just enough that I felt compelled to exchange my shorts and tees for warm sweaters and boots. I made soup. I bought a cookbook of pumpkin recipes, because of course everything is pumpkin in the fall. On the trail I began to notice the subtle changes – the yellows of goldenrod taking over the purple forget-me-nots, the glistening spider webs just out of touch, the furry caterpillars making their way across the path.
The weather has been making up its mind. Mornings are edged with chill. Afternoons can be sagging and sticky, then brilliant, crystalline…
Yesterday was that kind of day – the kind of day that reminds me that change is in the air. Soon the leaves will go from green to gold and red and orange, the chrysanthemums will take over the garden, and it will be fall. And someday, I will reread this entry in an old notebook (or folder on my computer), and it will spark another idea. It’s the cyclical nature of things.