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It is the apex of summer.

Trees celebrate.

The water is wide

and even.

Sailboats are in casual stride

up towards Isle Royale

or across to the Apostles.

It is a time of play,

of resurgence,

of deft companionship

and outrageous

melody.

But one day soon,

appearing,

couched

in the grass

or in the

bevy of tree canopy,

a speckled leaf

will appear,

orange and

sometimes

yellow.

It will shout the coming

of autumn, the change in

character, the disruption

of joy and relaxed candor.

As suddenly,

life will become

more serious,

more deliberate,

more sober.

While not there yet,

the seasons will announce

a chilling amplitude.

Ducks foraging will be alerted

to soon migration. Beavers

might pick up the pace.

Canoeists might guard what

little time they have left

in the border country,

among the pines.

Life is altered.

With the coming of

that single leaf,

we know our

perspective

is changing.

We watch ever more deliberately

for life’s advantages, we wait

ever more aware of tomorrow’s

benedictions.

We grow mindful of the time,

keep watch over our anxiousness

and sorrow, while we yet celebrate

this festival of emerging color.

Summer shapes itself

into harvest-time.

We accept its eternal pace,

step in line to its rhythm,

reluctant acceptance,

yet fearful of the disquiet

one leaf can bring.

From the book "Nature's Poetry of Life:

Who's Watching Who?" Available at all

GM bookstores and on Amazon. Always

a great seasonal gift or book for a rainy day.

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Grand Marais, MN 55604, USA

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