Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - No comments

Summer’s Dusk, Autumn’s Dawn

“Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.”

- Carol Bishop Hipps

You know how some years, one season slides into another and you barely even notice it happening?  When life is so crazy that you still haven’t taken the Christmas lights down by the time the first violet appears?  

This is not one of those years.

As I’ve been willing summer to surrender to autumn, I’ve been incredibly aware of every step of the transition.  It’s happened gradually, and it seems as though each day there’s been some new small, markable step into the coming season:  the first night I slept with a sheet on, the first time I wore shoes instead of flip flops, the appearance of the first chestnuts at the waterfall.

The first week of October was gorgeously wet, with thunder the soundtrack to our days and lightning our entertainment at night.  That week, I dove headlong into fall, wearing hoodies as often as the still-warmish temperature would permit, sprinkling cinnamon on everything, buying kilos and kilos of fresh pumpkin at the pazar, making a caramel apple pie for Canadian Thanksgiving, and listening to my “Autumn Playlist” while I worked.  (Nothing like a little Swell Season, Norah Jones and Copeland to get me in the mood on a rainy day!)  

But then, Mother Nature had a memory lapse and swung back into August.  Last week, once again, we were slathering on the sunscreen, squeegeeing the terrace for weekend coffee guests and even heading to the beach at night with neighbours for tea and sunflower seeds and a dip in the pleasantly warm Mediterranean.  But as nice as it was to have good weather for a friend’s outdoor wedding and a fresh-from-soggy-England guest, I still found it necessary to firmly remind the thermometer that 34 Celsius is not appropriate behaviour for the end of October.

And it listened.

Saturday we were in t-shirts and sunglasses having lunch under an umbrella by the sea, and Sunday I spent my (long anticipated) day off curled up in my bed with coffee, gingersnaps and a book as hailstones and fat raindrops pelted my window and the wind threatened to carry all the patio furniture away.  It happened overnight - bright blue skies one day, dark, broiling clouds the next.  And when one of those sonic-boom type thunderclaps (you know, the kind that reverberate in your sternum) and the blinding flash of lightning that accompanied it knocked out the electricity for a couple of hours, I decided that surely THAT could be counted as the official switch from summer to fall.

Monday didn’t disappoint.  It was as if those “transition markers” were coming fast and furious now - first time I slept with all my windows closed, first time I put on my slippers to walk downstairs and, the kicker, first time I had to boil water and take a bucket shower because there hadn’t been enough sun to make hot water.  

I was so happy, I made pumpkin spice latte cupcakes to celebrate.  

We’re still lacking in the “colourful leaves on the ground” department, but I hereby declare that it is finally, officially, truly autumn.