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September 10, 2015

Autumn Brings Her Back.

Credit: Dana King, used with permission

I appreciate autumn—autumn brings her back to us.

Over the long summer, she’s distracted—busy playing and loving everyone else—our little town.

She plays host in the sun for months, but when kids go back to school—the tourists go home, and the energy in the town changes from “I’m busy loving everyone else,” to “I’m going to be busy loving you!”

She goes from non-stop cottage and college student party town, to a “the streets are quiet, the leaves are changing, and I know everyone I pass on the main street” kind of town.

We are surrounded by farm land and tiny villages—named after trailing rivers, the first French settlers and the Hurons who lived here before all of us.

The swirling heat and fast pace that the city-folk bring transforms into the slow, sweet pace of a horse pulling a wagon along one of our many long concession roads.

This is the time to sit in coffee shops quietly, as we’re all no longer needed so much at our retail jobs. We make art and laugh on the sidewalks.

It takes hours to walk the length of our tiny downtown—not because there are too many people bustling—but because the few people we meet are always people we know, and are happy to reconnect with, since we haven’t seen them during the long, busy summer.

This time of year, I am so thankful. We love the busy infusion that the tourists and visitors bring—they bring the dollars that help get us all through the sleepy deep winter months.

I am also thankful of what the visitors reveal when they are suddenly absent. It makes me appreciate what our little corner on the bay gives to us—like how we wouldn’t know the beauty of the light if there were no dark. They are the busy, hot sun. Their absence gifts us with the cool, flowing moon.

We dance now, on the quiet beaches, while some of us play guitar and sing.

We sit and dream on the docks, now that all the boats have sailed away, watching the waves lap against the piers.

We talk to new faces with so much more ease, because we know that we are all part of the same tribe, who feel the relief at the end of our hospitality season. There’s no more need for formality.

There’s room at this time of year for the land to feel our love and for her to love us back.

We feel it in the clear bay and the wild woods we’ve woven paths through. We feel it in the acres of land that gift us with corn and the squash we’ll buy from our farming neighbors.

We feel the love in the pumpkins we’ll pick, from our own yards, to put on our doorsteps and make pie from. We even feel and give love to the quiet sidewalks and storefronts on the lonely embracing main street.

But I do love the time we share our town with visitors—making connections and making them comfortable.

They help us love our home on the bay even more when she turns back to embrace us, falling back into our appreciative arms.

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Relephant: 

The Patience of Autumn.

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Author: Lori Grace (Petroff)

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photos: Dana King, used with permission

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Lori Grace (Petroff)