Hay is in the barn. Baled, hefted on to the flatbed trailer and into the barn less than an hour before the first fall drencher. Though we have had a few weeks of fall per the calendar and roughly the same per seasonal coolness, it has been summer work all along. Now with last hay baled life feels like autumn.
The dialect of the early morning fall sky is different from that of summer. One last watering of the hay field calls for a 5:30am walk to move irrigation line. Summer speaks of light and long morning shadows as it rises above the eastern horizon. With a flashlight in the back pocket, a sliver of moon in the dark morning sky and a milky star mass, between southern Orin Belt and northern Big Dipper, settling just out of reach, it is surely fall.
Morning dew soaks leather boots in the morning hour and darkening leather assures damp feet. It seems it were only yesterday when one could walk barefoot at this hour without a hint of dampness.
Animals who were feeding a month ago at this hour are lying in the field. After resetting the irrigation line and starting the pump, a few have raised their head and are chewing cud. No one is in much of hurry to rise.
Returning to the house on a fall morning is worthy of celebration. Prior to leaving the house, beans were ground and water placed in the coffeemaker. The walk from field to house is an eastern one. A hint of sunrise red in the dark sky cause eastern stars to vanish. Yet it is as if those same stars have visited the house and their illuminance is beckoning through the kitchen window. The square widow of light welcomes one home.