Now I know I might be a little late for a “it’s really fall!” post but the other day I was inspired and it’s taken this long to write it down. (This is an arbitrary list per my experience this fall starting the day I was inspired to the day I finished this post, plus reflection on days before inspiration struck)
The first sign of real fall: temperature fluctuations.
It’s cold. I’m wearing a hoodie as I run from my car into work and start up my computer. I wonder why I didn’t wear an actual coat. The office heat hasn’t even been turned on yet. Then I remember; it’s going to be a warm afternoon.
The day started before sunrise at a chilly 35 degrees (F), and it will probably top off at about 75 degrees this late afternoon, right around the time I leave work. My van will be a mini oven and the thermostat sliders will go from max heat to max cool.
The second sign of real fall: light and dark.
Over the course of the summer I seem to have forgotten what darkness is. It is that strange and mystic thing that bookends the day, and if I venture into it my next day of work will probably be less productive. But now it is not mystical; it is normal.
It’s depressing. It is the only thing I wake to, and it sneaks up and pounces ruthlessly upon me in the evening. It’s only advantage is in bringing me the flush of beautiful sun rays splashing the morning and evening clouds with my favorite shades of red and purple.
The third sign of real fall: that smell.
Now some of you might be thinking “Pumpkin spice latte from (insert favorite coffee provider)!” but no. It was as I trudged out of the office late, mentally depleted for the day. Then it hit me, the smell of fall.
It’s like a pile of fallen dead leaves, dry and dusty, that I’ve been playing in for hours. It’s sharp and stings my nostrils as I inhale. But it is also, in that very same breath, the smell of a sweet sprinkle of spring rain in the air, of storm clouds in the distance ready to drench the windblown soil.
BONUS, the fourth sign of real fall: the colors.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention the beautiful changing color of leaves in my above list. That is because I had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The trees around my home did change, but it was a fade from green to yellow to sick yellow to dry dead brown.