Last night, I pulled my flannel pajamas out of storage. When I woke this morning and looked out our bedroom window, I saw a silver dusting of frost on the grass. Melted droplets glittered in the sun.
Now I sit in my favorite spot by the living room window eating lemon cake and drinking coffee while classical music softly plays. The parts of the lawn still in shade look like silvery green carpet.
It’s 38℉ (3℃) and bright sunny. Despite the frost, the garden is still in bloom. Bronze tassels of ornamental grasses wave to the early sun. Purple salvia spike bright, and pink and peach zinnias lift their petaled faces to the morning September light. The rose bushes are dotted with fuschia blossoms; the autumn joy sedums by the mailbox have darkened to a deep dusty rose.
I wish I had an encyclopedia of colors. I want a book of photographs of real things, organized by color, that I can flip through to find color names. I can’t find the right name for the color the sedums are. They’re terra cotta with a hint of pink. They’re a dusty toadstool cap. They’re pinkish-rust brocolli flowers. It’s driving me bonkers to not be able to find the right word. Does Pantone have a color book? That might work too, though I really would like to look at pictures of real things for inspiration.
As a backdrop to all the blooms, the pear trees have already dropped their leaves. Their bare branches are a tangle of brittle grey and white lines. A blue jay has landed in one of my flower baskets on the front steps. The jay pulls fibers from the coconut liner. Now is the time of year birds visit the summer-worn planters to gather materials for winter nests.
It’s time to get the handkerchiefs out again. The pandemic hit during allergy season. When I didn’t know what tissue availability was going to be like, I bought a bunch of cloth handkerchiefs. They served me well in the spring when my nose itched and ran. Summer saw them sit folded in a drawer. Now that the grasses are in bloom, the hankies are out again.
The silver carpet has shrunk to a small patch of shade next to the driveway. As the shadows of our neighbor’s dogwood trees recede, so does the cold. For now.