Tonight has sealed it.  Tonight it is clear that we are at the shift of season.  The change has come.

The day was tall and warmish, but dim.  High clouds bunched and threatened but we all knew it was never going to rain.  The breeze was pleasant, but it chipped at me offering whispers of cool.  Dusk is downright chilly.  Cozy sleepy pants are the call for the near-playoff games while we shout at the Mets from the couch and sweet potatoes, a hallmark of fall, sit on the counter awaiting their time in the oven.

Sunday in the backyard as we filled and cleaned and then refilled the tub I pulled leaves from the water repeatedly.  Yellow leaves with a tinge of orange fell from the tree above into the clear, swirling water of our birthing tub.  I picked them out one by one and could not help but focus on all that they foretold.

Soon the trees will ignite with color, a final blaze of brightness before the snows settle in and the nights grow deep, long and insulated.  We will be in a new place then.  We will be wrapped up in our new family and all the new habits, rituals and duties that a fresh human demands.  It will be a winter like no other in our lives, that is certain.

When I started writing this chronicle I did so impulsively, automatically.  I think through my own words.  I define and understand the world not only through how I experience it, but also how I write remember it, asses it and write about it.  So to write about the experience of Lu pregnant seemed obvious and correct.  And I am thrilled to have this record of these past 9 months.

Setting up the page I needed an image. I knew this birth was going to change us.  Fall had just ended and bare trees and cold nights seemed dismal compared to the brilliance of our first autumn back in 4 years.  Lu’s photos of the fall were fresh in my mind and all of it just came together quickly, easily.  Change, autumn, color, that New Haven is called Elm City, that Lu took the photo you see above, all of it was just right.

At no time did I ever think about what was coming down the line.  That our duedate was September 30, just as fall was starting.  That those colored leaves would be returning just as Lu was about to give birth.  That this time, for the first time ever, fall would become the most important season of my entire life.

There is resonance between that image above and what I am seeing happen to the world around me, and that resonance is powerful and true.  Lu has bloomed and grown throughout the spring and summer and now that this autumn is upon us I am overwhelmed by strength of nature transforming her, us, the streets around us, everything really.

We found ourselves in summer before we knew spring was over.  Winter whimpered out while we always expected another stormy lashing.  Autumn is not fucking around, though.  Autumn is obvious and strong.  As I drove today it hurled acorns at my car from above.  It dropped leaves in our birthing pool.  The nights are cooling quick, dark, and hordes of students throng the sidewalks of town as school buses jam the roads with sudden stopsigns and blinking lights.  Professionals pissed at the new-again fast pace curse the summer now long gone and fall stands proud full of produce, preparing us for winter’s concrete cold.

Tonight we’re gonna have baked sweet potatoes for dinner, that I know.  Tonight the Mets are going to play a very important game of baseball but I’m not sure if they will win.  And sometime soon Lu is going to look at me in a way she has never looked at me before and at that moment I’m going to think one thing and one thing only.