The first rain fell last night; the first rain of fall. The cold weather all week, in the morning hours, has kept me in bed til 6 or 7. The pounds are piling on. The chores, the writing, the AM walks around the block with the golden dogs, all are pushed to “tomorrow” every day. Winter is coming.
Group activities are in a lull. I’m spending more Sunday hours at home. There is no deck reading in the evening. The sun is already fading behind the trees; the shivers come out by 6. The fading light and whipping cold steal away the urge to sit, blow the pages to and fro. I reach for my joggers and sweaters instead of my shorts and tanks. I wear layers to work. Pants and shoes. The flip flops are hiding in the closet now. Autumn has come. In earnest.
I remember fondly the summer days. I remember pool parties and swamp cooler sweat. Ice chests full of beer. I remember it being too hot to sit on the deck for long. Too much light still coming through the window for an early sleep. The air conditioner blaring all night. I remember two weeks without air conditioning, and all the 100-degree days we endured through that. I’m recalling the anticipation of football coming back.
I think about the years, the seasons through each one. Each 13-week succession through 49 years of life. I love change. I’m the rare bird that loves when things are suddenly different than they were. My body doesn’t like the process of the change, though. The sleeping in, like I mentioned. The cracked skin, this year choosing the right-middle knuckle for that. The legs, they itch like crazy when the weather turns cold. I don’t know why; I’ve always suffered that. I move slower in the cold. We all do.
My wife says to me, “we can finally have a fire again!” She loves the ambiance of fire at the hearth. Our current abode has a fireplace that produces no heat, or too little to be of measure, so it is just for the ambiance. But the feeling of things is somehow just as important as the utility of things. Atmosphere matters.
My mood has been affected this year, by the fading light, the rising chill. I get so little time to do the things I love, these days, and the shortened days seem to want to steal away even those scarce moments. I’ll adapt. I’m a reasonable man, a critically-thinking human being, who understands this feeling is fleeting. Tom will return.
But one thing I learned a long time ago is that we cannot always be ourselves. Our best selves. Like the seasons, we change. Like the daylight, we ebb and flow. Sometimes we shine so long it feels like the day will never end. Sometimes our shine hides behind the gloom. It seems like night all day. It was one of those weeks where the shine was hid, for no reason other than a change in pattern. A change in season. A cold front on the horizon.
It is in these moments that I appreciate the complexity of life. Everything is fine. Perfect, as a matter of fact. Love is strong within my house. Work is lucrative and busy. My writing feels right. A bad president’s numbers are down. Even the Rams are winning games. The perfect autumn. A serendipitous fall.
So excuse my unusual entry. Forgive my lack of witty banter. I’m not in the mood for the light today. I am embracing the gloom. Enjoying the rain.
I feel a little down these days.
And I kinda like it. 😊