This one is the wind who brings the frost. I’ve lived here long enough to know it by its voice.

This is the time of year when the sun falls asleep earlier and earlier, like an aging woman, and the clouds turn to gold that lives and dies – and die it does, like a match going out in the night.

I wear a jacket to the garden, and we pick the last of everything. Perhaps it will warm again before the final death. Some years, like some souls, find a last burst of vitality. Though brittle on the surface, shivering through each day, they radiate quiet completion.

Or perhaps the year will simply fail. Sometimes the heart gives out, and that’s the end.

Yet the fruit remains to nourish us, after the year has passed away. We retreat to warmth and the comfort of the family table, of house windows like candles in the dark. Our vigil is a passing night.

Rain falls in a tempest and freezes down. Outside, the wind wails and sighs in its annual ritual. This is the one who brings the frost, a silver blanket to lay all the north to rest.