Illinois Autumn Sunset

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page.

Illinois Autumn Sunset 

by Deb Fenwick

Sitting on the back porch after dinner during an autumn sunset requires fleece. Maybe a light blanket. A cup of tea is also a good idea. Don’t underestimate the importance of warmth. 

Watching pink clouds stretch and yawn as they disappear below rooftops makes you appreciate them more. Don’t get distracted by utility poles that puncture the view. Instead, shift your gaze upward. Tilt your head a little higher to see if you can find an empty patch of sky. Inhale deeply when you do.

Talking occasionally with your love, leave blank spaces in conversations. Pause and leave room to ponder. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know every story he has to tell. Don’t anticipate his response. Listen for what’s new as the birch leaves fall. Also, listen for the silence. 

Gazing out at the garden that’s about to go to sleep, look at everything you have to harvest on your little plot of land. Don’t fixate on the blighted apples or moth-bitten kale. Instead, plan to gather what you can and shift your attention to the maple tree with its burning crown of glory. Vow to remember its beauty when you’re waist-deep into December. 

Breathing in cool dusk while watching the sky sometimes requires searching for the moon. It’s there, even if you can’t see it. Don’t get fooled by thick clouds or a hidden new moon. Have faith in what you can’t see. Watch nightbirds soar into darkness. They know. And flocks of geese navigating by starlight know, as well. It’s time to leave the golden Illinois prairie. 

Turn off the porch light and lock the door. You’ll be kept warm when winter comes. 

Deb Fenwick is a Chicago-born writer who currently lives in Oak Park, Illinois. After spending many years working as an arts educator, school program specialist, youth advocate, and public school administrator, she now finds herself with ample time to read books by her heroes and write every story that was patiently waiting to be told. 

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