A few weeks ago, I started noticing fallen leaves in the grass. The spiders also returned, spinning large webs that make venturing out onto the deck at night a dangerous prospect. Autumn, I realized, was on its way. Recently, the heat's started giving way to crisp, almost chilly mornings. When I tread through the grass in the morning on campus, my feet (still in summer's flip-flops) get wet from the dew, and the chill is enough to make me consider the possibility of pulling out more "practical" footwear, or at least, consider walking on the designated paths.
The calendar may not say so, but I think autumn is here. I can never decide which is my favorite season--autumn, or spring? During spring, I enjoy the emerging green and the flowers, and the promise of summer and its break. But fall is more suited to my temperament, I think. A friend once said that autumn was great for curling up with some Poe. I knew exactly what she meant. It's deliciously melancholy--just enough to indulge in, but not as depressing as the extended bleakness of winter. There's just a sense of things coming to an end--leaves, flowers, the year itself. It's fun to go crunching through the leaves, but the barren tree branches are a reminder that their once glorious splendor of green, then yellow or red or purple, has passed. Right before the first true freeze, the leaves start to turn to rot under the faintly grey-tinged sky. It's sort of shiver-inducing, when you stop to think about it.
And what better to ward off the shivers than a hot cup of tea? I'm quite partial to coffee, true, but evenings are for tea. I love drinking out of clear mugs, all the better to see the shades of red or amber, depending on the tea. Right now, I'm keen on a blend of black currants and vanilla, a beautiful vermilion in the cup nestled in my hands. Through the open window, I can hear the crickets chirping and the whoosh of passing traffic. A bit of a breeze blows through the still-mostly-clad trees, rustling the leaves. The temperature is just a smidge on the cool side, but it's a comfortable cool, not bracing like air conditioning, and the tea helps warm me. It's pretty peaceful, and right now, so am I.
Yep, I'm pretty sure it's autumn.