Sure enough, our maple leaves are turning their faces to greet autumn. I have blogged my first year in Newberg: autumn, winter, spring, and summer.
When I first moved from Southern California to Oregon as a teenager, my friend Michelle gave me a five-year diary to record my new life. Each page bore a date and five divided spaces for daily entries underneath. When I filled the first year—that first hard set of seasons at a new school with my California friends far behind—I dropped down to the second tier and began again on January 1. Seventeen years old instead of sixteen. A junior now, thinking of college and future—no longer a sophomore grieving a California childhood left behind. Each day of that second year I was able to measure loneliness, a new crush, a choir solo, a part in the play, against my first year in Oregon.
Blogs aren’t set up for this kind of annual self evaluation. Too many clicks and calculations—who can trouble with going back? There’s no blog template that will allow me to hold one year just outside another like tree rings.
I remember some things even without searching the blog’s archives. Last summer was hotter and seemed longer. I thrilled to see those first red leaves on the maples when I returned home from my graduate residency in mid-August. This year the leaves began to turn even before I left for Washington. Last year I was eager to taste fall. This year I am not so sure. But my feelings don’t matter: autumn, like Aslan, is on the move.
This morning my outdoor thermometer showed 46 degrees as I brewed my coffee and put on socks. This evening the breeze is fresh but yet balmy through my open bedroom window. The past few nights have been quiet as winter. No frogs, no owls, no raindrops. But tonight I hear through my window a multitude of crickets, and just above the shadowy treetops I can glimpse the full moon.