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Tomorrow, September 22nd, at 9:03pm ET the sun’s rays will shine directly on the equator, giving the Northern and Southern Hemispheres equal light for an instant. By 9:04pm the Northern Hemisphere will have already begun its tilt away from the sun, and our days grow shorter, our nights longer. Summer, with her seemingly endless golden days and bright skies and warm winds, makes her exit. Autumn will have officially arrived, bringing with it a turning, a particular kind of lowering stillness, a season of quieting.
There is a new baby in the house. She is pink and perfect with gossamer curled eyelashes, silky dark hair, and unimaginably soft skin. She had a scary start. She is better now.
Having a baby in the house disrupts everything. It’s marvelous. Time elongates, morphs, laughs in your face. You sit and stare at the round little cheeks and the tiny mouth and suddenly two hours have melted away. Time is different now, on the other side of this shift, in this new season of parenting for my daughter and son-in-law, and grandmothering for me.
This morning very early I sat and rocked Baby June with her summer name, and sank into the hush of her quiet breathing. Outside a bird called into the silence. Rested. Called again.
The sky glowed pink as the inside of a seashell. The sun inched its way over ridge tops, and one escaped ray of light pierced a line of turning maple leaves at the top of a nearby tree, so that a thin red gash glowed in the gray morning, as if I’d been offered the glimpse of an opening into another world, of fire and wonder.
Of course, that other world is here, now. There is a new baby. Everything is different. We are on the other side of the turning that has brought her here, the new angle that has shifted our world. That hushes and stills me, so that there is only the bird, the breath, and the burst of light in the tree.
Happy Fall, y’all! We will rejoin Blainey Blair next Monday, as two worlds collide that should have remained separate.