Saturday, September 22, 2012

Not Really Autumn

I don't care what the calendar says.  September 22nd, 2012 is not the first day of Autumn.  Not here anyway.  It is still in the 90s here.  It is still bright and sunny every single day.  Rain won't fall for several more weeks; probably months.  I won't wear a long-sleeved shirt to work until at least mid-October and even then I will probably complain to no one in particular of being too hot. 

Strawberries are still growing even though the shadows are getting longer.

Sure, there are a few signs that Summer is on its way out.  For one, my girls have put out the fall decorations.

And no matter how hot the weather, the path of the sun through the sky tells the truth.  I do notice the dark in the morning now and I notice it even more so in the evening and I find myself remarking that "it's so dark already."  I am 37 years old and I still haven't grown accustomed to the way we lose and gain daylight.  I doubt I ever will.  I hope I never will.

And maybe because the sun goes down earlier it does get a little colder at night than it used to.  I have cut back the time on the sprinklers to compensate so I guess, in that way, I have admitted to my garden that the fall is near even if I haven't fully admitted it to myself. 

The roses don't seem to know that it's autumn either.

Transitions are always hard and while there is something I love about every new season I can't seem to escape the feeling that the start of Autumn means the loss of something wonderful.  Ingrained deep within me, impressed upon the very DNA of my being, is the sense that summer is when we come alive.  Summer is when we grow.  Summer is when the best things that happen to us happen.  So even if Autumn is great, even if there's nothing as nostalgic as apple cider, even if you sigh fondly at the sight of high school football stadium lights on a Friday night, Autumn still means that something wonderful is gone.  And you can't get it back.

So maybe it is the temperature here or maybe it is my own unwillingness to acknowledge the meaning of it all, but right now, where I am physically and mentally, it is still summer.  At least for a little while longer.


  1. It's hot here, too, but the shadows are longer, and the air is dryer, and the asters are blooming, and our chances of rain are going up, so I guess autumn has arrived. But, you are right - it's like something wonderful is over. Some wonderful part of our lives, some time out of the small amount we are allotted on this earth, is gone. No wonder we mourn its passing.

  2. I'm on the other end here - fall is my favorite season, so even though it's so hot I'm bringing out the fall clothes and trying to do as many 'fall' things as possible :) With the humidity, summer here means it's too hot to be out in the garden. Fall means I can live outside again! (My poor husband and kids probably wonder if they're ever going to get a real meal during the gardening season, though!)

  3. I know what you mean about the specific date not really matching everywhere. This year, it was actually beginning to feel like fall before that date whereas usually it is the opposite. I don't really get into the fall spirit until the weather cools.

  4. Well said. Here on Long Island, the weather has turned dramatically cooler. It was 80 degrees three days ago, today it didn't even reach 60. It's also damp and gray -- and I feel my reaction to light deprivation already starting. I enjoy the cool weather -- maybe a sweater -- for about a week. The problem with autumn is that winter follows -- and there is little joy then. Thank goodness for seed catalogs and garden blogs with photos. Your photos in the post are beautiful, by the way. Cheers!

  5. Well, must be nice to be so warm. I think I must head back to California for a visit. Here on the shores of Lake MIchigan Fall is now passing into the Winter cool, and so to be COLD! Enjoyed my visit again today. Jack