Onset of Autumn

Summer is due to end officially on Wednesday, September 22, some days hence, but, as noted here some days ago, it has already turned cooler. It’s now regularly down in the sixties at night and stays pretty much in the seventies during the day. With little rain, it has been clear and cool. Delightful weather if you like that sort of thing.

I’ve noted here before that I prefer hot weather. During the thirteen years (ending in 1975) that I spent most of my time in Vietnam’s tropics, I acclimatized to the heat and have stayed that way ever since. Left on my own, I’d run around in nothing but shorts and sandals, but nowadays when the weather starts cooling down, I gradually add more clothes until I find myself wearing sweatshirts and sweatpants and donning a light jacket when I’m out and about.

And the disappearance of mid-year warmth seems melancholy to me. While summer feels like laughter and joy, autumn is sobering and serious. It portends that winter, the time of sadness and mourning, is approaching. It’s time to let go of happy smiles and get used to more somber thoughts.

I’ve always believed that we humans invented Christmas and New Years at the beginning of winter to tide us over until the promise of spring in March, but the joy of those holidays is never enough to see me through the dead months of January and especially February—whose only virtue is that it’s the shortest month of the year. The cold feels to me like a reminder of my own mortality. March never arrives soon enough and always frustrates me with its promise of warmth and its failure to deliver.

So here I sit, chilly in nothing but shorts, hoping the warm weather will last just a little longer. Maybe the cold will inspire me to write, to get past the writer’s block I’ve suffered from ever since the death of my partner, Su, a year ago last March.

If so, the change will be worth the cost.

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