The crooked apple tree by the pond is beginning to drop it’s fruit, a yearly signal that another summer has passed and fall is slowly approaching. If I look around, I can see other signs too. Crickets and cicadas buzz with increased intensity, spiders spin webs that sag heavy with morning dew and swamp maples are starting to glow with the golden-orange promise of more color to come.
When I pause to watch the dogs root for apples in the damp grass, a twinge of melancholy creeps up on me. I’m reminded that they’re growing older too. In September Neena and Hazer turn nine. Young, by Cattle Dog standards, but no longer adolescents. I don’t see much change in their demeanor unless I think back several years to all the activities I used to do to channel their drive and energy. Daily long hikes in the woods. Herding and agility classes. Hours of Frisbee and ball tossing. Today, all but the latter have been left behind. Even the backyard games have been honed down to a couple of ten-minute sessions a day that bear little resemblance to the flurry of intensity of years gone by.
Whether it’s the adolescent dog in the group that makes the seniors appear older or having to attend (another) wake for a parent of a good friend, I’m acutely aware that time passes much too quickly.