On Feeling Like Fall

Originally posted 13 September 2002

It's overcast this morning, and for once I'm the first person out of bed. This rarely happens, and a part of me has to wonder if the overcast morning was somehow calling to me. Not that I don't like sunshine – quite the contrary – but fall, or autumn if you want to be all proper, has always been the season I'm most attuned to.

My latest theory about why I love Fall is that it has to do with being born in August, and that the cooling of the days, the lengthening of the nights, and the turning of the leaves were some of the first things I encountered, outside the circle of love that was Mommy.

Or, perhaps it's just that I know the rainy season will start, and I absolutely love rain. Once, when I was nine or ten, I had a rainy Saturday all to myself. I remember wearing my favorite rainbow sweatshirt, the jeans I'd been given for riding lessons earlier that summer, and my favorite red Keds, adding a very spiffy raincoat, taking my very spiffy bubble umbrella, and practicing the Gene Kelly curb-thing from Singin' in the Rain. I'm sure I must've looked extremely strange, but when you're nine or ten you can get away with such things, and at the most, they'll call you 'creative'. Now, they'd call me 'touched' – or worse.

Rain is the one element of weather that I know I experience with every sense. I love the taste of ozone in the back of my throat, just before the clouds burst, love the way the air seems to still, love the smell of the world being washed clean, however briefly. I love the way it tingles on my skin. Natalie Goldberg wrote once about how she took a bunch of grade-schoolers outside and tried to teach them how to walk between the raindrops – this is something I, too, have tried. It doesn't work, of course, but it's still fun to let go, and pretend. And, I confess, I still love splashing through puddles.

Today, of course, it's much too early in the year to expect actual precipitation. But even the haze of morning brings a hint of that pre-rain tang, and cools the morning a bit. True, it'll all be gone by eleven, but by then I'll be cocooned in my office, with music playing and a macchiato at my fingertips, and the world Outside will cease to exist at all for several hours.

Until then, I'm going to curl up with the fall editions of some favorite magazines, and imagine decorating the new house for Halloween, and pretend that the sound of the water from Zerimar's shower is really rain.

* * * * *

Bright before me the signs implore me:
Help the needy and show them the way.
Human kindness is overflowing,
and I think it's gonna rain today.