And here we are, thanks to a merciful Deity, once again in my favorite season of the year. Summer is my least fave, sorry to say, mostly because of the humidity and bugs, which are abundant in Maryland and can run from May to late September. The bugs are awful. At one point, I was sporting a brown recluse bite on one arm and a European hornet bite (“not very aggressive,” my bloomin’ aspidistra) on the other. Phooey!
A couple weeks back, we went from mid-90s and yucky one day, to low-40s and wonderful the next night. I woke up after that low-40s night and felt as if I’d been put on pure oxygen. Doing my 10,000 steps was no big deal, my mood was great, I got a lot done.
But being more comfortable when I exercise is only part of the reason I like fall. Because the humidity drops, the quality of the light changes, colors are sharper and contrasts more vivid. The hours of daylight no longer exceed the hours when I have energy to do stuff, so my circadian rhythm and Mother Nature are in better harmony. I sleep so much better in the fall. I enjoy a pot of tea so much more thoroughly in the fall.
I can open up my house–windows and doors, both–and work with a sense of being connected to the out of doors. I hear the birds, I hear my neighbor’s cows munching the fall grass, I hear when a squabble flares up among the cats on the porch. I do not hear, at least not as much, the lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and weed whackers that seem to drone on all summer.
I am no longer barricaded in my kitchen, a window unit air conditioner roaring all afternoon along with a box fan or desk fan. The quiet is scrumptious because it’s natural quiet. Yes, the crickets are still singing–slowly, tiredly–and the farmers are getting out the trucks and combines to bring in the corn and soybeans, but for much of the day, all I hear is nature. My stream trickling over the rocks, the dry breeze teasing at what leaves remain, an occasional rooster or barking dog.
One other aspect of autumn that makes it special to me: I know of nowhere that this weather is available year round. In San Diego, my parents had something close to perpetual summer. The seasons were subtle, but in any month, most days, you didn’t need to turn on heat, you didn’t need to wear a jacket.
Other parts of the world tend colder, but the spring and fall seasons are always just passing through. So I am wallowing in this glorious weather, and in gratitude that it’s finally here.
To three commenters, I’ll send advanced reader files for Yuletide Wishes, the novella duet I’m publishing with Christi Caldwell on October 22. If you could create a Camelot for yourself in terms of weather, what would it be?