The pool across the street closed yesterday, and the morning is strangely still. Gone is the early morning murmur and rhythmic swish of the lap swimmers. Today there will be no splashing, no radios, no little-kid laughter. No Marco. No Polo. The deck furniture is stored away. A small, forgotten beach ball drifts aimlessly around the empty concrete, occasionally pressing its nose against the chain link fence.
The cricket chorus has taken center stage, their relentless trill underscored by the patter of hickory nut shells hitting the driveway, courtesy of the squirrel section. Chipmunks chirp along, keeping time, and a chilly wind riffs in the oak leaves.
Even now, the trees are beginning to turn. Just at the edges, near the tops, the first tentative colors bloom: reds for now, with gold to follow. Now is the hush before the glory, and the sigh before the dying. Bittersweet, my loves, bittersweet.