It's been a l o n g hug from summah, though it's officially autumn now. Or awesome (au-sum). Whatever you want to call it. There's no fence between seasons. Autumn's kids queued up for summer's frozen custard. Summer's kids have the run of autumn's apple orchard. So Fall goes about its business regardless of the heat and humidity. Bringing forth the asters and goldenrod and the tote bags full of Macintosh apples. Coloring and uncoloring leaves, puffing up the milkweed pods. Mixing up Back-to-school and Halloween. Letting crickets B crickets B crickets B crickets B crickets B crickets B crickets.
And the sky says You Are Here.
I saw it the other day as a map. It's other things, too: a circus, an ocean, a ceiling, a port. But from outer space it's the map the planet wears of white swirls and contrails over the undermap of blues and browns and moss-greens. That's the same map we're looking up at, only ours is the local version, bound by local horizons, a few miles across. And wouldn't it be interesting if we could open a map like this, like something out of Harry Potter, showing clouds and air currents in ceaseless motion, revealing and concealing our whereabouts? But it would be unnecessary. Looking up, we know that here and now is beneath the sky directly overhead, and that varying degrees of then and thereness stretch to the horizon, which is that edge of the world people once feared as the border of Never. Now we know it's just the border of Not Yet and Eventually. Which may be why horizon clouds sometimes make me feel a little uneasy, because they're experiencing some time behind or some time ahead, a distant conversation I can't hear. (I really don't know clouds at all.)
This has nothing to do with the Red Sox. Or maybe it does. At some point tonight we will be directly under the outcome of their last regular-season baseball game, and it will bring many of us joy or consternation or an extension of anxiety for one more day. I cannot ride the cloud that already knows the answer. So I will ride the planet and wait for it to be the current current overhead. But I hope to hell they win and the Rays don't.