Salt Springs, FL: Searching for signs of autumn in central Florida can be a daunting task. Leaves often go from green to dead overnight. There is no easing from a bright vibrant green into the warm color palette of fall. There is alive, then dead. Mid-August most of the foliage begins to dull from the excessive heat, burning from the heat of the summer sun, losing its vibrancy – already heading to brown. Late summer rains do their best to return the luster found in spring, always falling a little short.
But every now and then, as October approaches November, we are rewarded with a small vine that is nostalgic for a northern autumn. One such vine was recently spotted while I was rocking on a porch swing hanging from a huge old oak tree at the Amrit Yoga Institute. As my gaze languidly washed over the property full of oaks draped in Spanish moss I caught sight of a tiny burst of red. Usually this will turn out to be a hibiscus or a cardinal, but today I am lucky. I get to see Fall.
In that moment sense memory provides me with a lovely crispness in the morning air and the smell of a fireplace warming someone’s chilly home. I can hear the crunch of leaves as a rake is drawn across them, exposing the browning grass beneath. Somewhere in the distance a chainsaw is cutting firewood.
Back from my reverie, I wipe the sweat from my brow, put my flip flops back on and head down to the beach. They say it may reach 90 today.