Fall to Winter

The changing of the seasons, illustrated

We ate the fruit. It was plump warmed by the waning sun, the juice dribbled down our chins. We weren’t worried.

Fall began with cheer, as with a New Year. We basked in the late yellows, the sun brighter as it sank low on the horizon, chafing tops of heads. We made it to the bus stop most days and paddled once through a pond. The kids ate the candy, stuffing wrappers in tight corners and under beds. But the light shifted. It always does. Night extended into morning and I saw Orion and his dog beaming, chasing the two-star rabbit.

The egg, small and pointy and perfect, sat atop a pile of jet-black feathers.

We had a chicken named Fluffy, a Polish hen with a feathery white crown that gave the impression of Phyllis Diller. She had a pitch-black body, shiny and soft, and she cooed at our feet and came running when we called. She liked to sit on our doormat. She had a sense of humor. We were naïve of course, and the hunter in the sky was real. The hawk took Fluffy in a violent burst and left only her beautiful black coat. I found her egg centered perfectly among the ruins. Her flock wandered without her.

The moon’s one bright face.

The supermoon brought a diversion, something to look forward to and to marvel at together. The light would be bright! The sky would bounce off the earth and we would be in it together. Let’s wait up late and see. But the clouds were thick that night and shattered the light to bits. The kids wake up in the dark terrified of monsters and bad men scratching at the windows. They burrow deep in their comforters. The darkness pervades.

The sun rises and cuts a crimson stripe above the ridge.

I kept Fluffy’s egg and showed it to the kids. They thought it was a present. One bright egg falling out of the clouds. Maybe the two-star rabbit escapes. Maybe the chicken and the burrowing children do, too. It’s the darkest day of the year and the air snaps cold. But the light shifts. It always does. The sun will soon hasten Orion’s trek across the sky. We’ll find our strength. As in the heavens, on earth.

(Previously: Summer to Fall)

Amy Jean Porter is an artist who lives in Connecticut.