Equinox is that time of year when we are half way there. The Earth is exactly half way--neither tilted toward or away from the sun. We're half way from the long days of summer. Half way to the dark of winter. Come mid-September I always start to notice the days growing shorter, but it is a shock when we actually get to the equinox and the light really goes. I just don't have that extra hour at night to troll my garden. I have to find my headlamp earlier when camping. Mornings are darker and require more coffee.
Though the September equinox also ushers in fall, it has a habit of coming when we are still experiencing the heat of summer. Last week was no exception. The 90 degree days made me long for the cooler weather of fall. Then, curiously on the equinox, September 22nd, temperatures dropped and afternoon clouds even brought some rain. I was camping at a high Cascade lake on Saturday when the rain hit. In the morning, the lake was shrouded in clouds leftover from the rain storm and from steam that was forming as the sun rose. Standing there with my coffee in hand, I thought this looks like fall.
Then, on the drive home I noticed that the meadows around Sparks Lake were turning that burnt umber color of fall. Some Sandhill cranes were there stopping to refuel on their long journey south. As we got closer to Bend I even spotted an aspen turning color. I made soup for dinner that night, a celebration of summer and a bountiful harvest of garden tomatoes, but also a sure sign of cooler temperatures and the need for warming meals. Along with the equinox, I think I'm half way there as well. Half way ready for fall and crisp days and blue, blue skies. Half way wanting summer to be endless.