I was born with a sense for the changing seasons, as was my dad. This is not too terribly profound a birthright, since Winter, Spring and Summer in Upstate NY tend to announce themselves loud enough for any local weatherman to actually make the correct call. The intuitive knack my father and I share is most evident when Fall is waiting in the wings, looking at her watch and tapping her foot.
OK, enough of your top-down road trip, nothing to do but nothing, swimsuits and margueritas by tiki torch light baloney, says Fall. You and your long, lush green days take a hike.
That seasonal conversation happened August 18th this year, while most folks were still under the endless-summer assumption that it was going to be just that. It came to me in the fifteen steps between our back porch and my car as I was leaving for work. The 8 a.m. light had changed. Not much, but enough. The sun wasn’t quite as high in our walnut trees to the south. And the air. Different. A sudden and subtle under-tone–like a new block of sharp cheddar or the first home football game–stopped me about half-way to my car. While our favorite season was still a few weeks away, Fall had spoken and the change would be forthcoming.
That evening I made the Fall call to my dad.
He answered the phone by saying, Did ya smell it this morning?
Sure did. Definitely ready for it to get here.
Yep, he replied. Hope you’re ready to rake all those walnut leaves too.
Ahhh the blessing and the curse of that extra sense.
At least I had a few more weeks of summer left.