I live on the high shoulder of a river valley, so at this time of year morning dawns gray to reveal rising mist. The body of earth and, specifically, the nearby body of water are slowly losing their heat into the air.
Summer is shifting toward winter through this intermediary season called fall. Yes, red and yellowed leaves are falling on my flowerbeds as if to season them with a dash of colored pepper. At the same time, heat is rising from earth and from water in the form of vapor.
Earth, water, air, heat (also called fire). I watch the interplay of these 4 "elements"--which are actually the three forms of matter--solid, liquid, gas--plus the heat required to transubstantiate one element into another.
River water transmutes into water vapor, losing its heat in the process--the death of summer. A slower process than the death of the physical body. One of the signs of impending death is that our body loses its heat. "People die from the feet up," my father told me. The body first withdraws heat from its extremities.
Steam rises from the teacup in my hand as i gaze out the window at the backyard, shrouded in mist.