Labor Day

Early, day before Labor Day, high forties out, I sit in the Adirondack in black silk pajamas by a stack of red flaming wood in the fire pit, gray-white-smoked on the bottom, brown grain on top. The fire is warm against my cheeks, and the wood-smoke smell reminds me of my grandfather’s fireplace.

The pond fountain gurgles and splashes urgently and behind it is one pink rose at the top of a trellis—squirrels have eaten the leaves off the rose bush again this summer—but a wild morning glory vine has found its way to the frame and is working up it, already with one lone blue bloom.

Smoke pushes up hard and fast into the fading summer leaves of the birch, moving them like a breeze, as it rises toward an all-blue sky above the treetops.

Hummingbirds are getting desperate—zooming around the yard, bickering over the feeder. Yesterday I sat on the patio and polished my fingernails a bright pink. One speckled green bird buzzed close and hovered and I expected him to come to my fingertip to try and sip.

A vase of pink roses on the table just inside the back door conjures up memories of a surprise Saturday birthday dinner at Amerigo’s, when I thought I was going out with one person, and others were already there, sitting at our reserved table. I’ve never had a surprise party until now, and it gave one more reason to feel all warm inside, ready and expectant of crisp autumn days full of color and hope, as Labor Day arrives and September presses on.

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