The gradual fade to gold

We’ve reached the tipping point, I think.

Though this summer never reached skin-melting level here in Maryland, the air has already taken a cooler turn. The mornings are crisper — weather typically reserved for late September. The small tree outside my office window has red in its highest branches, and fallen leaves skitter across streets and parking lots.

This is premature, I know; it’s still August, and not even late August. But the store shelves have already been ransacked by nervous students. Pumpkins, witches and ghouls adorn seasonal aisles. Halloween candy beckons at the grocery store, and costumes will soon follow. Early-morning marketing emails remind us to “take advantage of summer before it’s gone!” (and buy their coconut-scented lotion, of course).

I can’t say I’m sad, exactly . . . we know autumn is my absolute favorite season, and I can’t wait for boots and scarves and holidays with friends and family. I keep thinking of this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, then feel a twinge of longing for all that’s to come.

But there’s something bittersweet about knowing our flip-flops will retire soon — that our warm days and humid nights will fade to crispy-brown golden afternoons. Though I love autumn intensely, I’m never so aware of the passage of time as when we say goodbye to this season.

Maybe because so many look forward to it for so long: mornings where we dash out without coats, running with bare arms and legs . . . free and unencumbered. Vacations, cook-outs, toes in sand.

Maybe because I fear another awful, never-ending winter — a frosty season that stretched for months and months last year. Buried under snow piles, the world slick with ice and salt.

But time continues, pushing us with it. We carve pumpkins, watch beloved TV specials and march on.

And how could I ever be sad in a world with pumpkin spice lattes?

As proof that I am nothing if not predicable, I discovered I wrote a very similar post almost a year ago to the day . . . on the Monday before local schools start up again. Fall brings this out in me!


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17 thoughts on “The gradual fade to gold

  1. OK seriously…it’s like I wrote this post myself! I feel the same way! I LOVE the fall. Hands down, it’s my favorite season and for all the reasons you mentioned. (I squealed out loud when I saw that the PSL will be back in a little over a week!). But you’re right…this summer leaving is kinda sad. I think because it never got to the unbearable levels of hot and humid that we’re used to in this area. I don’t think I ever once said “I will be so glad when summer is over!” And I typically say that at least once a summer. But I have my scarves on standby…ready to go!

  2. Completely agree with you, emotions included! I think as it’s started to cool (I am wearing my woolly jumper for the first time in months) I am mentally already switching into autumn and cannot wait for it to be acceptable to be seen wearing a scarf, beanie hat, and my beautiful red coat. I’ve missed my red coat.
    And it also means we’re getting closer to cosy fires, stockings along the fireplace, and wonderful family time with the children.
    It’s a good thing these seasons don’t last longer than they do!
    As Jim Rohn pointed out, 90 days is long enough for us to deal with anything.

  3. I totally and completely agree with you. I am about an hour north of philly. This morning was fresh and crisp and had me really excited for fall! At the same time, I felt bad because it is mid Aug and should be summer. I enjoy summer too and fall will come next month. I should be patient and enjoy the end of the summer too.

  4. You are such a good writer! Love this post. I have to admit, I tend to be more of a “warm weather” person, spring is my favorite season. BUT, there’s something magical and lovely about the fall that I am excited about…and also ready to get out of the 100 degree temperatures here in Dallas. :)

  5. I am excited for Fall weather. I am in Missouri – it’s been hot (not terrible) but I am ready for that chilly, crisp, Fall air. :)

    Beautiful photo, btw.

  6. I am a tad bit jealous – still upper 90s with heat index of 105+ & instead of sensing that fall is just over the horizon we are looking towards the peak of hurricane season for Atlantic. Maybe November will give us the cooler mornings that don’t make us break into shirt-soaking sweating as we have now.

  7. There has been a noticeable shift in weather around here too (“Fog-ust” is in full effect) but I’m actually looking forward to fall/winter. We’ve had unseasonably warm weather since February and we’re experiencing the worst drought in the state’s history this year so I’m looking forward to fall/winter. And I’d happily welcome a few rainy boots-and-scarves days. ;)

  8. I was cussing at a few people yesterday when they were talking about the cold. IT IS SO HOT IN FLORIDA! And it doesn’t cool off down here until October or November (and “cool off” is defined as temps below 90), and by then I am just foul. I’m so tired of sweating. That said, you all had such a horrible winter and we had probably the nicest one ever. So I guess it evens out.

  9. Autumn’s my favorite season too and I cannot wait to see all those golden and red leaves! I love how all these trees put up a brilliant show for us, almost like rewarding us for taking care of them.

  10. I also think that autumn is the best time of the year. Summers always make me so restless. In the autumn there is something about that crispness in the air and the nights getting darker again. Routines return and morning cups of tea can be drunk without sweating a lot.

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