So much change is afoot at autumn’s cusp. Some of it is gradual, observed day by day as a new palette bleeds across leaves, or petals dry and gather themselves into new guises. One leaf withers into a luna moth, crumpling steadily from its midline towards its jagged margins.
Some change is so sudden it descends like a dropped stage curtain, a first fall sunset turning from orange to blue and back to neon pink streaked with violet.
The air carries change. The beagles sniff at tangy woodsmoke-tinged vapor from grills relit now that summer’s scorching heat has passed and winter’s bitter air hasn’t yet arrived.
Birds’ songs switch out with the changing of the guard as some species flee south. Notes from nighttime marching band practice float across the city, a swelling synchronicity as the season moves from summer into fall.
“Jupiter” lingers, a mixture of what I can actually hear and what I heard years ago when my children played their parts in the Planets Suite. The band director will keep some of the old performances’ gems but update sounds and steps to suit the new guard. I hear the percussion ensemble’s director at practice, rearranging movements and correcting the tempo–then, not now–and smile: “It’s ‘Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity,’ and you’re playing it like a dirge . . . . ”
My entire life in recent years has undergone a sea-change, into something that has not nearly settled, or yielded grief’s tenacious clutch, but is in measures rich and strange.