I Can Feel It….

Autumn makes me vaguely dissatisfied. My lot in life chafes and binds. I want to run off, maybe to follow the geese. I have itchy feet and my normal life looks much like a rut. Nothing fits and I go about in some state of chronic unhappiness. My head aches and I am inexplicably sad. Like the plants in my garden, long before the season changes in any visible way, before the southern heat moderates, even though it is still to hot to go outside in the afternoon, I know. I can feel winter coming. I think, like some strawberries, I am day length sensitive. By Labor Day the shortening of the days has made me edgy. October is sheer torture, as it finally cools off some, though Halloween is generally still warm enough to not need a jacket. I antsy around, waiting, feeling the winter closing in on me. Daylight savings time happens and the evening disappear into the dark.The first hard frost, the killing frost, usually happens between Thanksgiving and December 1st, where I live. I dissolve into the black abyss of depression.
 There is an upside, however, to this daylight sensitive nature. Towards the end of January the fact of the winter solstice and the lengthening days begins to resonate in the core of my being. By Ground Hog Day my sap has begun to rise. I can smell spring coming. Valentine’s Day finds me up to my elbows in the cold garden dirt. Seeds have been planted. Peas are coming up. Tomato seeds are in pots on window sills, hopeful. The official last frost date here is April the 1st. St. Patrick’s Day is usually as long as I can wait. By March the 20th I have normally officially declared it to be spring and am leading an army of plants in an assault on the yard. I am ready!
But today, winter is coming. I can feel it.

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