Monthly Guest Feature
The Autumnal Equinox
By Joel Mindas, SCOPE NJ
     For the past week there has been something in the back of my mind, almost imperceptible, trying to tell me something and distracting me from my daily routine. I walk outside in the early morning, turn to lock the door and head to my car. Everything appears the same, but as I walk to the car, the air smells different. The floral scents I've been used to have been replaced with a more earthly smell. I contemplate this, and the thought rapidly disappears only to be replaced by the concerns of the upcoming work day. But still, something lingers...
     On my walk into work, I notice the slight blush of warm color that the top of emerald green boxwoods and the beautiful Copper Beech trees are starting to display. I look around the area, but everything else is cloaked in bright summer greens. Shaking my head in apparent disbelief, I begin my work day.
     I rode home that evening from work with the car windows down. Last night we slept without air conditioning for the first time in months. The night air coming into the open windows was like a drug, and my dreams came fast and vivid.
     On the weekend, I left the congested developments behind; houses becoming further and further apart. The sun was warm as I drove past large houses with trim lawns and huge yards. Passing local farm fields, I saw the dried-out stalks of harvested corn and the familiar round orange shapes of growing pumpkins and gourds.
     The local radio station I was listening to began to fade, and eventually was replaced by static and buzzing. I did not see another living person all this time, and then I knew. If there is any true magic left in this world, it lies dormant during the heat of the summer, banished by some long forgotten force. But the shortening days and cooler temperatures herald a most fantastic change. The power begins to rise, so slowly at first that only the most perceptive feel it. It begins as a soft touch, a barely audible whisper, a smile and nod of the head from others who notice it also.
     A whirlwind of seductive scents blown around by clear sunny skies and starry nights, an extra blanket on the bed, a zip-up fleece and pumpkin spice coffee. Today I found the 2017-2018 Old Farmer's Almanac on sale at Shop-Rite. Mums decorate roadside nurseries, notices of the Great Pumpkin Blaze arrive from Sleepy Hollow, NY. The sun is lower in the sky, the wind is from the northwest, and the power is rising. I feel the blood in my veins, warm and reassuring as I find that even breathing is easier now. I am empowered, The Deliverer of Fall; I will bring the colors and eventually the frost. The magic lost for so long is now at hand; the ancient battle of the changing seasons has begun.
     And as this awareness spreads over the world, to all things living and otherwise, we travel the long road down to a much anticipated October.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Joel Mindas, SCOPE NJ