Every August in Vermont, I have a moment when I realized I’ve time-traveled ahead of myself by about eight weeks. I arrive here simply by looking down. There I will find a red leaf or two while back in Kansas, summer is in its wear-you-out, tie-you-up and lock-you-up mode (which means the temperatures don’t fall below 80 much at night and the days are mundane replicas of themselves at 99 degrees).
I know that sometime in early October, I will look down in Kansas and find a red leaf or two, but who will I be and what will my life be about then? Certainly not whoever I am and whatever it is now, early August, in a place where people complain that it’s in the 80s and then a cool front, like the one pushing through as I type this, tumbles the air into the 40s.
This particular fall, I’m particularly wondering what the future I glimpse now will be when I arrive there later. With my daughter leaving for college, and my oldest son returning for his senior year, it’ll just be three of us and many animals in the house. I cannot imagine the loss. I cannot imagine the spaciousness. I can, however, picture how much longer a full refrigerator will hold court with us. In the meantime, I thank the little fellow journey companions I’ve met today, a happy horse and a big stuffed bear. Maybe they’ll help accompany me in some shadow way from here to there and back again.