Saturday, October 9, 2010

Portrait of a Floridian Autumn

The high temperature today is eighty degrees Fahrenheit, which means jeans and a long sleeves or I'll be chilly on the way to class, especially if I walk in the shade. I have lived here too long to find weather in the seventies warm anymore. But, it is delightful. It is perfect. After a few weeks of regular rain, heat, and humidity, the air is completely breathable again and has been for a few days. I hold my breath daily waiting for it to cease, for the sun to become painful again, for the air to gain its signature Floridian moisture and stick awkwardly to my skin so that I am relieved to be indoors. It hasn't happened yet. It will. It is only early autumn.

The moment the weather starts to cool down after a relentless summer, I start thinking about Christmastime. Soon, the temperature will stop its inevitable teasing fluctuations and stay truly cold for a couple of weeks. I'll be able to wear gloves and scarves and boots all the time. For now, I'll stick to sweaters and flip-flops, or t-shirts and fuzzy socks. Odd combinations for odd weather in an odd location.

The trees are staying stubbornly green, of course. Around December, a few will unenthusiastically turn orange, and I'll still wonder why the others don't try. It is hard now to believe that there are worlds to the north where nearly every tree bursts into the colors of flame, dropping leaves for adults to rake and children to crunch. I have seen it, I have lived in it, and it is still hard to believe because it has been so many years.

I won't pretend that autumn here isn't nice. The flowers last a lot longer here, and the weather can be delightfully surprising, alternating between warm sun and cool breeze. Since the rain has become far less frequent, we live under a sky of dauntingly endless blue. We still have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the new school year - all very important staples of autumn. I just wish the seasons would be a bit more obvious; I am not a fan of their of subtlety.

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