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Boreal Community Media

Presentiment: an essay by local author John Bragstad

Aug 23, 2023 09:50AM ● By Content Editor
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By local author and writer John Bragstad for Boreal Community Media - August 23, 2023

IT IS THE APEX of summer.
Sailboats are in casual
stride up towards Isle Royale
or across to the Apostles.

It is a time of play, 
of resurgence, 
of companionship 
and abundant 

But one day soon, 
couched in the grass 
or in the bevy of 
tree canopy, 
a speckled leaf 
will appear red, 
orange, or 

It will signal  
the coming of 
the change in 
the disruption 
of joy and 
relaxed ease.

As suddenly, 
life will become 
more serious, 
more deliberate, 
more sober. 

While not there yet,
the seasons will 
announce a chilling 

Ducks foraging will be alerted 
to soon migration. 
Beavers pick up the pace. 
Canoeists might guard 
what little time they have 
in the border country,  
among the pines.

Life is altered. 
With the coming of  
that single leaf, 
we know our  
is changing.

We watch ever more deliberately
for life’s advantages, we wait
ever more aware of tomorrow’s

We grow mindful of the time, 
keep watch over our 
anxiousness while we celebrate 
festival of emerging color.

Summer shapes itself  
into harvest-time. 
We accept its eternal 
pace, step in line to its 
reluctant acceptance, 
yet fearful of the disquiet  
one leaf can bring.

About the author

John A. Bragstad has been a therapist, working with couples and individuals, for 25 years. He is self-published and is enjoying retirement. Lake Superior is just off his front porch.

He has written three books: Compass Season, Loon Laughter at Midnight, and Who's Watching Whoo? They are available in Grand Marais at Drury Lane and Lake Superior Trading Post, or at

Related: Meet your Boreal Community Media Freelance Journalist: John Bragstad

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