Fall

We don’t call it Fall, here in South Africa. We do it the English way. We call it autumn.

Barn Quilt Trail, Prince Edward County

Be that as it may, fall has arrived, including this morning an unseasonal thunderstorm and rain. It’s not just the weather that is changing, folks, it’s the climate, as you know of course, unless you’ve had your head in the sand, or in Fox News’s ass. In Teilfingen, in Germany, our friends Lisa and Klaus have had snow, no less out of place at this time of the year, except that our expectations about what to expect weather-wise at any given time of the year now need to change.

This is not just an inconvenience, it’s a global emergency. But let me not go on about that now. It’s the weekend, right, and we just want to relax.

Not that we can go anywhere relaxing, what with the lockdown and the rising threat of a third wave of Covid. Here, too, one could rattle one’s chains and mutter something foreboding about the encroachment of farming and human settlements on wild spaces and wildlife, the inevitable risks of animal to human transmission of viruses and disease – but again, let me not spoil your lunch.

Which comes, I guess, from a farm somewhere, or many farms, some of them close by and others in far, exotic lands, flown in by air, trailing not clouds of glory as in William Blake’s poem but carbon emissions and … oh, dear, there I go again. Must be something in the water, though in this water scarce country, not to mention incompetence and misgovernment, even a reliable water supply can’t be taken for granted. Ask Cape Town.

Barn, Prince Edward County

Fall, it seems, is not just about autumn, it’s about Man’s Fall – oh blast. Not Man’s Fall, people’s fall, their fall, they being both singular and plural and extremely awkward these days.

(The thing to do, I’ve been slow to learn, but am learning slowly, is that when you’re digging yourself a hole, it’s time to stop digging.)

That goes for you, too, humanity. Stop digging us all a hole!

Ahem. So here, to soothe your shattered nerves, and to make up if I can for my lack of consideration, my disturbance of the peace, calm and tranquility we expect as our due as members of the middle class, are four images of fall – of farms, and barns, and autumn light. The time, October. The place: Prince Edward County.

Rob and I live in hope that one day soon, armed with our jabs and our vaccination certificates, we will climb on board a plane, and fly all the way back home, across the warming oceans, to our little heated house in Toronto, and then drive up some time to revisit the county.

Perhaps we should purchase some carbon offsets.

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