Friday, September 17, 2004


Liza's comment about Fall and how we determine seasons got me to thinking. (Liza, it shore would be nice to have a link to add to your name, ya know?). (And, yes, I misspelled "sure" on purpose).

I have known for sometime that everything is subject to interpretation, a fact that disturbs me to no end. I cannot prove that I exist, or that I am alive, or that you exist or that you are alive. And suddenly that becomes a lot more unsettling than the internal debate over G-d's existence. Sometimes, as David Hume once said (my apologies if I am misquoting), we just have to show up and eat our oatmeal because if we spend too much time thinking about it, we will go mad.

So, back to seasons. Why do I call it Fall when, as Liza says, it was 80 degrees outside?

Well, I suppose the fact that I live in the midwest and was not raised in Minnesota does factor it, because in November when I am scraping frost off my car, you will still be calling it Fall, and that for me will be winter.

I start Fall early because we don't have it for very long, it seems, and I want to enjoy it for as long as possible. It starts to be Fall for me when I take a shirt along to karaoke (which is held outside on a patio), even if I don't end up needing it.

It starts to be Fall when I start to reflectively pull on jeans instead of shorts when I'm at home.

It starts to be Fall when I go over to Liza's house and she has bushels of apples waiting to be peeled, cut, dried, and frozen for pies.

It starts to be Fall when I am out walking my dog at 10:00 at night and it's a little nippy outside, and I come home and suggest opening windows instead of having the air on (which is terrible for my allergies, yet I did it anyway).

Our summers are so hot that sometimes they can suck our breath away, even in the dark. So, Fall starts when I go outside and I can breathe again. And if I were to sit on my porch, I would need to have a long-sleeved overshirt or light jacket.

Fall starts when school starts, and suddenly my street hums with the ordinary business and busy-ness of students walking back and forth to class, joggers galore, little blonde girls in pony tails who carry walkmen and wear only their running bras on top. Loads of people walking their dogs. The town we live in is governed by seasons. During the summer, the students all leave, so our already scant population drops by 6000, and leaves the town a ghost town of heat and quiet, the humidity hovering over it like heat lightning, squeazing out all the noise.

It will be quiet like this in the winter too, when the air freezes all the life, and we will go outside and hear our own footsteps crunching.

So, yes, I suppose it could be the last days of summer. We probably won't need jackets at the first soccer game on Saturday morning.

But it's coming. It's definitely coming.

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