The tin roof plinks with raindrops from a shower long passed, the wind tickling the trees till they give up their sprinkles and tiny acorns.
The garden looks sad. Tomato vines bow and zinnias grow brown. Rows of herbs grow thin and spindly- and a few withered peppers give up the fight.
Wasn't it only yesterday we turned that rocky earth into a beautiful spring garden? How is it so much time has passed since we anticipated the first red tomato?... That we hovered over the cucumbers like new parents?
My eyes scan the horizon and see no sun today. Clouds are soft and gray and hang low above the woods. Some trees are vibrant red, others smoky orange, some canary yellow...like wet feathers they drop to the ground and are lost in the forest floor. In the coming weeks, the leaves will all be gone, blown away by an autumn storm, an early frost, or the inevitable hand of nature.
In a mangled pile of silver bark, firewood waits to be stacked. Soon, on a crisp, cold morning we will put on coats and gloves and carry the cut timber to a neat pyramid. There it will wait for the first quiet snowfall to be whisked into the fireplace and bring us heat.
The rooster crows and the hens cluck, pacing in their pen in hopes of being freed. Of getting the chance to run in the garden and catch juicy bugs and flying feasts. Later, I will gather smooth, brown eggs from their straw nests.
They watch me as though they know winter is coming.
So I make a pot of coffee.