Now playing in our South Florida Playhouse
is a theatrical production repeated each year
to rave reviews: The Season
Act I, Scene 1: Summer slowly, begrudgingly
exits stage left.... she has had her shining
moments, but the curtain is almost down
on her very long act.
Waiting impatiently in the wings, peeping
now and again through the curtain,
is Fall, the Coquette....
Act I, Scene 2: Under the first full moon,
Fall swirls onto center stage,
her russet skirts around her legs,
the rustling wind causing the palms to sway
as if finally blowing away
the last remnants of heat and humidity.
Then, a smile on her burgundy-glossed lips,
she summons the cool breezes ...
and she teases.
From within the orchestra pit,
merchants respond with the opening tunes
of their seasonal songs: "Summer Wares
Now on Clearance" follows
"Final Markdown!" and finally
"New for Fall!"
At intermission, sweaters and
long-sleeved polos and
pumpkins and candy for Halloween
fill the aisles, competing
for smiles with hints of
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In South Florida, the changing
season brings with it "the Season,"
when the annual migration of
northerners and mid-westerners
and Canadians swells the year-'round
population, clogs the highways
and fills the restaurants,
and we give thanks not only for
the turkey, but also for the
great money-bringing snowbird.
The Autumn of my childhood days
is a fond memory of burning leaves,
and tall-stalk fields of gold and orange maize
we called Indian Corn.... a time of
running and abandon, free
from adult cares.
We made our costumes for Halloween
then, no need for anything but
imagination and some simply-gathered
goods, some of Mom's make-up, and
perhaps a store-bought mask. Our
tricks were innocent, our treat bags
were pillow cases that were over-filled
by evening's end.
Then the days became shorter, and slowed,
the countdown to my November
birthday endless.... And, somewhere in
between my Day and Turkey Day,
there would arrive the wondrous
Sears and Roebuck
Christmas Catalog, a book for
a book for dreamers.
It is Fall once again,
and here I am....
© Candice W. Coghill, October, 2011
Photographs taken in the Shenandoah Valley courtesy of Sandra Langdon-Wilson