Since you went away the days grow long
Such a rarity we're enjoying right now -- an actual autumn, rather than our usual Northwestern "today it's 75 and sunny, tomorrow 55 and drizzly, and it will remain like that for the next six months" pattern of weather.
After our surprisingly temperate summer, I suppose it's to be expected; after all, it seems that for us lucky folks in the upper left-hand corner at least, "global warming" may have some (temporary no doubt) benefits.
The shift has been gradual, but not imperceptible. The air is cooling at night, leaves are turning brown. The sidewalks in some neighborhoods are littered with the spent husks of fallen chestnuts. It's damp and dark and the sky is full of fluffy gray clouds that hug the terrain like a big feather blanket. It's still a little disconcerting getting up before daylight, and once we shift back to Standard Time, we'll have to confront the inevitability of darkness for all but a fleeting few hours during the day. But for now, it's just pleasant to feel the changes: savoring the fading warmth of the sun as it peeks through the overcast, like a window shopper momentarily distracted by the latest fashion display; watching exhallations congeal around your face like smoke; feeling the tropical chill of rosy cheeks burned by the wind as you walk to work; taking in deep draughts of air that smells like the world has been run through the "delicates" cycle.
It's an in-between time, not yet the miserable, seemingly ceaselessly chilling torrents of November and December, but just enough of a taste of what's in store to make you want to prepare. Pull the sweaters out of storage, make sure the gloves still match, spritz an extra shot of "Camp Dry" on the hats, and reproof the oilskin duster.
Time to get out the crockpot and make soups and stews. Time for hot toddies, herbal teas and cocoa with marshmallows. Time for walks through quiet, wet places where even the birds are hunkered down in sheltered spaces. Time to think about weighty things. Time to slumber, to hibernate, to enfold yourself in the warm wraps of a quilted cocoon until spring returns and it's time to emerge from the chrysalis, refreshed and full of hope and color.
Time to get ready for winter.
on 11:16 AM