October 2nd

Today is October 2nd, the second day of my favorite month in my favorite season in my favorite part of the world. Two years ago, I wrote a post to celebrate the 1st of October as it coincided with the first true day of Fall, for though a calendar can call a day it claims to start, the true start of any season is something you feel in your bones, a thing to be known, a truth that resonates so deeply it stirs in primal memory.

To call it something as paltry as a fact, or to mark its appearance in advance, that’s more the braggery of man, who thinks to know and to define is the same as mastery, that the dilution of grandeur is grand itself. And for some, burrowed into their concrete hovels and walled in by their spires of steel and ceiling smog, they’d never know the magic in the soul that sparks at the start of another season’s change, as for them nature is merely a tree in a sidewalk plot or that park they take their dogs to jog, a separate thing, a contained thing, and seasons merely that one day the leaves have changed and another the ground has slush and gray…

But fuck wasting this feeling, or never even knowing it at all. Today, dear readers, is the second day of my favorite month and my favorite season in my favorite part of the world.

Four years ago, I wrote about when the first day of October came on the first true day of Fall. Or maybe Fall was already there, and that day was the first time that year I had fully heard its voice. But that day, in the rain and the rustle of the color-changing leaves, in the cloying chill of the breeze beneath low clouds, everything came together in a beautiful and mesmerizing awe.

And I’m thinking back on that today, even though yesterday had no rain and instead of the mid 50’s it was in the middle 80’s (Fahrenheit, for my metric friends), with a bright and sunny sky in place of cheerful gloom… But the wind was there, and I could hear it in the still-green leaves and the ones just barely changed. The temperament of the air was different than it was a month ago, and this was not the Summer wind, but the old mischief of the North. It plays differently in the boughs, and gets even the verdant trees to talk, whispering the start of the tell-tale rustle that fully blooms in Fall.

This year, Fall came before October, even if the last grasps of Summer stuck fingers of hot days here and there. I had felt it already, one cool morning that was more crisp than the others had been, in the prick of goosebumps on skin from early hour mists, when even the song of the birds seemed different, and I knew from the wind in the leaves that the first of Fall had come.

Today, as the twilight stretches yawning into dawn, the early dew has cloaked the grass and green, a pebbled sheen on window glass and parked cars, and fog clings to draws and ditches at the edges of unharvested field and copse and brush alike. The trees are breathing deeply, anticipating sleep, and their scent fills the the dark with old wood and must. For now, it’s more the mildew of an ancient attic than the smell of wilder musk, but appropriate, I think, as the warm morning will give way to warmer day, and then tomorrow the chill will come with thunder and storm, airing out the stagnant Summer with the brisker feel of Fall.

The new season has come, but it is on the cusp, and there is time yet to enjoy the change. Wherever you are, dear reader, whether weather has given you the start of Autumn or of Spring, whether you are wild among the hills or chained to an office chair in a city somewhere, find a way to find the feeling in the season, and breathe in so deep it stirs in primal memory. Feel it in your bones!

Unless you live around the equator and only experience Summer. Those folks are just screwed.

~Matt Booker

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