It had cooled considerably after two days of warm rain. Finally the leaves were beginning to turn.
I camped out on the white wicker chair in the corner of our front porch with a copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in my lap. The crisp morning air stung my nostrils and made ephemeral ghosts as it periodically slipped out through my mouth.
Morning light sifted through bare branches of the massive walnut tree across the street and filtered onto our porch, brightening the blue shakes of the house. High above the street fire-tinged leaves blazed on the tall maples, red-orange in the sunlight.
My wife’s begonia spilled over the edge of the cobalt blue pot where it sat behind the white porch baluster. The yellow-orange flowers faced the morning sun. One convoluted stalk had ventured out too far, dipping down almost to the fir flooring. The flower at its apex poked under the railing in search of the morning light.
In the far corner, sunflowers stood erect in a large plastic pot among full green leaves, perfect in appearance. Plastic and artificial, oblivious to their surroundings, they had not changed their inclination.
I looked down at the book in my lap. A small black spider had thrown out a filament from the edge of my coffee cup to the porch railing and was in process of making its way along the strand. Bathed in the light, it paused to rest, glistening in the morning sun.
A slight breeze broke the morning stillness, rustling the remnant leaves between the long brown stems of the mock orange bush. Chickadees called from low-lying shrub trees across the street.
Again I looked at the begonia, reaching toward the light. Phototropism; luxphilia. Unlike the plastic sunflower plant, soon the begonia and the small black spider would succumb to autumnal frosts. Yet on this crisp fall morning, they both reveled in the warm brightness of the sun.