Monday, October 15, 2012

The Changing Seasons

We had a very long and lovely summer...pretty much 3-1/2 months without any measurable rain and day after day after day of warm sunshine and clear blue skies.  (I imagine that's what it must be like year-round in San Diego!)

Summer is my favorite season.  I am a sun-worshipper (and now have hyperpigmentation all over my face to prove it!).  I love weather in the 80s.  I love jogging very early on already bright, sunny mornings.  I love the continual fruit harvest of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches and blackberries.  I love eating my lunch on the patio.  I love making sun-tea.  I still love a good tan.  I love barbequeing (well, I love it when Jeff or the boys barbeque for us!).  I go crazy at the farmer's market.  I love the long hot days that slide like silk into warm, balmy evenings.  I love the sound of crickets chirping by moonlight.  And I love my air conditioning that makes the heat so bearable!!

This September was the driest on record.  And the first two weeks of October were also amazing.  I greedily soaked up every nice day, truly enjoying and savoring the seemingly endless summer.

Then the forecast gave us a 4-day warning that rain was coming in a 1-2-3 punch...storm #1 on Friday, storm #2 on Sunday and storm #3 on Monday.

Sometimes wishful thinking keeps us in denial, or sometimes we just procrastinate because we don't enjoy what's to come.  But I took the weatherman at his word and heeded the warning by putting away summer and taking out fall.  For the next three days after the storm was announced, I was in the yard as soon as my work shift ended.  I dug up the weeds, pruned the shrubs, pressure-washed the patio, packed up the cushions to the lawn furniture, cleaned the garage, covered the fire-pit, scrubbed down the grill, washed the sliding glass door, cleaned the leaves out of the vents, hosed down the garbage cans and put away the summer sports equipment.  Then, on the day the storm was to hit, I got up early to get in my run before the rain arrived.

I stepped outside ready to run but stopped, awed for a moment by what I saw...the sky was a swirl of colorful clouds, the rosy pink of sunrise colliding with the dark gray of the gathering storm.  I turned right around and ran inside to grab my camera and then ran quickly out of my neighborhood to the open field and trails where the view was better.  This is what surrounded me:

Fall was falling!  I was witnessing the very moment that summer ended.  Instead of the wistful feeling I expected, I felt privileged to watch the changing of the seasons.  Every season is beautiful and has its place...even the seasons of life.  Although our leaves are still mostly green, that definitive moment of the battle of Gray vs. Blue made summer's retreat and autumn's victory quite obvious. The first drops of rain hit my face as I finished my run and jogged up to my doorstep.  I showered and changed clothes and met a friend for some Stumptown at one of my favorite coffee shops.  As we walked outside, latte in hand, and breathed in that sweet, fresh, damp air, I remarked on the fall fragrance of rain and woodsmoke...and out of my own mouth came these words:  "I love it."

And then suddenly it was okay to bid summer goodbye and welcome autumn, with all it's own delicious, fragrant, and lovely gifts...the apples, cranberries and hazelnuts, yummy meals that simmer slowly, vibrantly colored leaves that sprinkle the sky with confetti and crunch so satisfyingly underfoot, a tart breeze that makes cozy clothes feel wonderful, fires and candles, rain on the rooftop, and something warm in my cup.

Welcome, Fall!  I've been waiting for you!

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