It's quiet in the house. Amber is downstairs studying, Cassaundra and Kerstin went to Institute, and Jamie left with Sarah for a birthday party. I could have gone, but quiet nights at the house where I am free to do whatever I like are a rarity anymore, and I'm rather enjoying sitting at the kitchen table with the back door open, feeling the pleasant night air, listening to the crickets chirp, and just breathing in that indescribable aura that accompanies summer nights, especially when they're smudging the border of autumn.
I chose to bake tonight. My parents have a Red Delicious apple tree in their backyard that produces very well and invariably ends up laden with worm-filled apples. However, by happy circumstance, I discovered a few years ago that the worm holes can be cut around, and the remnant pieces of apple are the juiciest, most flavor-filled pieces of fruit I've ever consumed. If I made cider, they would be perfect cider apples. But since I do not make cider, I began using them to make apple bread.
It's like zucchini bread, but with apples. After rubbing my thumb raw on the grater, the apples got grated appropriately and incorporated into the batter, and the kitchen smells like baked apples, and I am in heaven. I haven't made apple bread since I was in college, and memories are coming back of wonderful times and experiences. And I sit here on the edge of the city, listening to the cars drive by on the busy road not too far away, but knowing that less than a mile away is the wilderness of the mountains, where the leaves turn copper and red and dripping gold.
The seasons are turning. It's subtle still, summer is putting up a good fight. The days are still warm, but after a summer of warm nights with no air conditioning, I am finally rediscovering the use of my blankets. The tomato plants are recognizing the turn in the air, and showing telltale signs of growing old. Some days after work, rather than driving straight home I find myself going up the canyon in a very roundabout loop just to take in the amazingness of a mountainside in the autumn.
It's the kind of night that calls for laying outside, watching the stars, and pondering. It speaks of bonfires, good friends, and songs. I'm glad that I get to be here, enjoying it by taking in its stillness- which can only be taken in when I am still. It's no wonder to me that at times, God commands us to be still. Some things can only be taken in through stillness. And they are things that do not translate well into words.