Fierce Clarity of Autumn

Autumn is here. And as is true every year, I am left breathless by its beauty. Where I live in Columbia, Maryland, humidity is high during the warm summer months. That means the air is always at least a little misty, even on clear days. When the days turn cooler and shorter, the haze disappears; the sunshine turns sharp, bright, and crisp; and colors become more vivid.

I am seeing the first hints of the leaves changing color. Here and there I detect a suggestion of red, orange, or yellow. But for the most part, autumn leaves have not arrived—they still lie ahead. Since I live in a forest with mature trees everywhere, I anticipate being surrounded by fall colors.

And the impatiens I have growing in flower boxes atop the railing that surrounds the deck at the back of my house are outdoing themselves in bloom. My guess is that they like cooler weather. All I know is that they are producing more blooms now than at any time earlier this year.

The downside of the end of summer is that it is getting decidedly cooler, and the days are getting shorter. As I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, between 1962 and 1975, I spent more time in the tropical heat of Vietnam than I did in the milder climes of the U.S. I became acclimatized to temperatures normally above 90 degrees between April and August. When I returned to the U.S. after I escaped under fire during the fall of Saigon, I found U.S. weather far too cool. Much to the amusement of my friends and family, I went around bundled up.

I’m still doing it. I never readjusted to U.S. temperatures, especially during the cold months. I resent having my days shortened by fall and winter darkness. I can’t wait for spring when warmth returns.

So here I am looking forward to the brilliance of the autumn with its magnificent leaves while, at the same time, dreading the onset of coldness and darkness. And today, blanketed in rain, is worse than usual.

As with everything else in life, weather is a mixed bag.

2 thoughts on “Fierce Clarity of Autumn”

  1. Don has said many times , that the weather in Vietnam ruined him from ever standing the cold again..If it gets below 70*, he’s turnng on the heat ! 🙄😑😳


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