Sunday, October 19, 2008

When the nights get cold

Fall comes tenderly to North Carolina. It arrived this week.

Technically, Autumn comes on September 21. But September 21st is usually still warm here, warm to hot days, and with evenings that are still relatively warm.

But this week was the end of that. The days are crisp and bright. The air is cool, though pleasant. And the nights are cold. Not cold compared to January, but cold enough to be bracing, and the stark contrast with the pleasant daytime temperatures is almost harsh.

The seasons arrive gently. And finally here it looks like Autumn. Autumn has an earthy beauty, with browns and yellows and oranges. Spring is a beauty of bright greens, blues, and the colors of flowers, while Summer is awash in the stark beauty of sunshine. Winter is its own beauty, the plain beauty of stripped down landscapes, bleak skies, and white.

But fall is here. The leaves are coming down, and I'm heading to the State Fair with my children on Friday. Amy may go -- she's ambivalent about State Fairs. But for me and my kids, the Fair is something you don't miss, with too much food, and bad exhibits and the smell of animals, and somehow it's a rite of passage for the year. The State Fair says that summer is over. It says that cold weather is on the way, and that we're transitioning to the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Advent/Christmas stretch.

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