Monday, October 5, 2009
If it was possible . . .
. . . I would bottle today. Not that Monday is my favorite day -- not by a long shot. THIS Monday, however, is an exceptionally welcome day. The air is comfortably cool and dry. The sun is still warming, but assuming a lower position in the sky -- a dead give away that winter is not far off. Each season is important for it's anticipatory energy. Autumn brings with it a desire to speed up a bit following the sultry, hot days of summer. As the precursor of winter it provides the signs that people and wildlife alike need to prepare for the coming cold. Birds start migrating, mammals eat more preparing to hibernate. Other critters like snakes start scoping-out hollow logs to shelter them for winter. Lady Bugs show up in huge numbers and sun themselves on our balcony. Monarch butterflies seem to flutter aimlessly, but eventually head south. Winter around here isn't as clearly defined as it was where I grew up in Northern Illinois. There, it was extremely rare to regret putting up the storm windows after mid-October. When the cold and snow came, it stayed. Around here we're more likely to enjoy an Indian Summer. And, even during mid-winter, we can have some Spring-like weather. We seldom have a White Christmas because precipitation in D.C. is usually of the freezing rain type -- not at all useful for sledding. Spring comes early in these parts. A D.C. Spring can be truly breathtaking -- especially if one has allergies. Nevertheless, flowers and flowering trees translate into dollars as tourists flock to town to mosey around the Tidal Basin, monuments and memorials. Bus loads of school kids bring fresh excitement and awe to a city filled with stodginess and formality. It's as if the Nation's Capital breaks free from an arduous Winter with its social and business obligations and takes a big, deep breath of fresh air. Summer calls for a totally different mindset. D.C.'s usually hard-driving, highly-motivated and stressed denizens put away some of their black wardrobe and add a splash of color. Flip-flops and sandals replace knee-high stiletto-heeled boots and our ubiquitous walking shoes that New Yorkers snicker at. [I say "let 'em snicker -- who wants to develop hammer toes and bunions!"] Summer allows humans to linger and appreciate nature as well as the blessings of air conditioning. So . . . here we are on the fifth day of October 2009. The next few weeks will provide ample opportunity to open up the windows to air out our homes and our minds before we're swept into another winter with it's holiday jitters and joys. I, for one, plan to enjoy Autumn whole-heartedly and with all of my senses. I highly recommend, dear reader, that you do the same.