The monarchs left yesterday.
I’ve been trying to pretend it isn’t happening. The cold that came on the Labour Day weekend, temps dropping from hot to cool between Friday and Saturday and staying around can no longer be said to be an aberration, just a fresh interlude between heatwaves. My feet have been cool for days now (still no socks, though!), for the past 4 nights, I’ve woken up in the middle of the dark and need to snuggle under the comforter to get warm again and it’s been a good 10 days since any trace of sweat appeared. But David Phillips, head prognosticator of Environment Canada, had said fall would be warm, feel like summer, so I closed my eyes and pretended, waited for the warmth to come back.
And then the monarchs left, one after the other flying west past my windows in a day of migration and reality hit. Because no matter how warm it is in September, there’s a day where beautiful wisps of orange and black fly past my view, fluttering on the breeze, starting the unfathomable long trip, leaving us behind, summer leaving with them.
I never see them coming, one day, they're just there and you know it's for certain, that summer is here and throughout the warm months, you see them alighting on this flower and that, among the bees and the white butterflies. But mostly, it's the monarchs that for me are synonymous with this season I love best.
I have no photos from yesterday, no images of the butterflies floating past my window, sometimes several in the minute, sometimes on every half-hour or so, but they kept coming. And it somehow seems fitting that this exists only in my memory, the ephemeral beauty too light for capture.
Fall is here.