The Fall comes ever sooner...
The aged, dying year steadily ebbs away, its final gasps of breath looming in the not too distant horizon.
The bloom of summer will soon be but a distant memory as the trees, young and old, mighty and weak, and only yesterday in the fullness of their beauty, will almost overnight be stripped of their garments, standing exposed and denuded like lifeless skeletons in a stark vigil of death.
The hour of slumber draws near, when the lush, green grass will fall into a deep sleep - seemingly dead on the surface, but a tiny thread of life desperately clinging to survival under a suffocating blanket of snow.
But summer does not surrender without a fight; but rather goes out in a brilliant blaze of glory - in sundry hues of chili-pepper red, fiery orange, and a dazzling display of colors representing every spectrum of the rainbow.
In the nearby mountains, streaks of blazing yellow aspen trees dance across the mountainsides, passionately splashed in wild brushstrokes against a dark evergreen canvas by the master Painter.
All creation great and small instinctively knows that a time of famine draws ominously near; and the creatures and critters hurriedly scurry and scatter hither and thither to fatten themselves and hide away provisions for their precious loved ones to sustain them through the dark days ahead.
As if blowing the lid off dusty boxes in the attic and reverently sifting through the contents, I am taken back in the theater of my mind to pleasant, innocent, albeit fading memories of an increasingly distant childhood: Shuffling and kicking and stomping through layers of dry, crinkly, crackling leaves; taking in the pungent, smoky waft of smoldering piles of brush; experiencing the annual arrival of the first frost, tingling the extremities with a cold, sharp bite - misty vapors of breath momentarily hanging in front of my face with every warm exhale, then quickly vanishing; waiting impatiently each morning for the familiar arrival of the bright yellow, squealing, screeching school bus - its air brakes squishing at each stop like an old steam locomotive, then clumsily lurching and lumbering forth to the next stop upon the boarding of the last passenger; and finally, proudly sporting my clean, sharply pressed, never-before-worn school clothes bought just days hence from JC Penney.
And before long, the world settles into a long hibernation, not to be aroused again until the anticipated arrival of Spring.