At what point in the summer do you begin to long for fall? I suspect that depends on your general seasonal preferences, or maybe where you live? For me, it’s a bit of both.
I’m not one for hot weather, but I do enjoy the sunshine. Spring and Fall were always my favorite seasons in NYC; neither ever lasted long enough. Extreme heat or extreme cold were always right around the corner. Those few weeks in April and October, when you start to feel the earth warm or that hint of crispness in the air – those were my favorite.
Seattle is much different. It’s generally more temperate – not too hot and not too cold, but definitely lots of rain. It’s not a pouring rain, but rather a mist that blurs the months together. We do get our sunny days, though, typically in midwinter or late summer. Come late-January or early-February, the sun will make a special appearance low on the horizon to stare you straight in the eye while the distant mountaintop snow blows frosty air across your cheeks. The occasional lowland snow quickly turns to slush that melts back into several more months of rain. Summer sun rarely emerges before the 4th of July. Just when you think you’ll never experience true daylight again, July and August, sometimes even September, bring a glorious brightness and warmth to fill the extra long days that eventually sink into fall…and more rain.
Not this year, however. This year, we’ve been treated to a surplus of sun – in winter, throughout spring, and all summer long. I would be thrilled, if the consequences of brown grass and brittle brush didn’t worry me so. Most years, I wish for summer to extend well past Labor Day. Now, as we near the end of August, I’m ready for fall.
An entire flock of snowbirds would disagree with me, but when the crowds clear and the clouds roll in, that’s when I love to head to the Oregon Coast.
Forget that sunny disposition; I’m tired of being cheery. I’m ready for drizzle and dew. I long to walk along the shoreline not knowing if it’s sea spray or showers misting my face. To bundle up and tromp along the mossy trails in search of woodland secrets.
I can’t wait to watch the fog thicken as storms brew, stirring up violent waves along the way.
Leaves on trees transitioning from green to red and gold remind me of mood rings sensing the seasonal shift. I anticipate chilly nights spent under a blanket by the fire, sipping wine and reading a suspenseful book. And hearty meals at local pubs.
Fall is somehow more introverted. Cheerful summer greetings are replaced with knowing nods. Locals appreciate the retreating surge of seasonal residents. Surfers head to shore solo. It’s a time to retreat and reflect. Privacy is respected.
We’ll spend our days wandering the beach, hiking Ecola State Park, or relaxing on our oceanfront porch. In the evenings, we’ll head to Bill’s Tavern for fish & chips or Bistro for live Flamenco. Perhaps we’ll do some shopping in town, or maybe we’ll be hermits the entire time. Either way, no one will care. It will be our time to do our own thing while the rest of the world does theirs. The perfect preparation for winter hibernation. Of course, by January, I’ll be looking for the sun.