Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.
Even though we are relatively new to this High Plains country, the signs of the coming autumn are surprisingly familiar. I am reminded, in some essential way that I don't really have to think about, that the cooler days are coming.
The late August call of the blue jay sounds just the way it did back in New Hampshire. At night, the toads and the crickets sing to say that they will soon be leaving us. A couple of trees in the neighborhood have a different look to the color of their leaves. Just a slightly different look.
Back in New Hampshire, I would watch for that branch high on the big maple tree near the fruit stand off High Street. It always turned scarlet every year as school was starting. Way too soon, we would think.
A schoolteacher friend in Maine used to tell me that her last daylily would bloom just before the first day of school. Here in eastern New Mexico, we will still have flowers blooming right into November, but we know it's time for school to start by the smell of chiles roasting.
We still slip into shorts and tee shirts every morning, confident of the continuing warmth of our days. But we know the changes are coming.