September 05, 2002


Last night I was browsing through the Nordstrom catalog (yes, still in
materialistic mode), lamenting all those wonderful suedes and wools I couldn't buy
because it's never cool enough here to wear them. Usually it's the LL Bean Fall
catalog that gives me that nostalgia for changing seasons; this year for some
reason it was Nordstrom and J.Jill. Maybe I'm just getting tired of Bean's
clothes being made for someone with the figure of an ancient fertility goddess:
swelling out above and below a small waist, short limbs. In other words, not

Getting wistful over Fall clothes is an annual manifestation of
my general nostalgia for proper seasons. It's way too damn hot for nearly half the
year here, yes, but that's only a part of my problems with this intemperate
climate. The other problem is that without bracing breezes in Fall and newly-balmy
ones in Spring, hot but saunterable days in Summer and snowy gray winters I am
lost in the year and ungrounded. I need that cycle to satisfy my love of change
and to give me milestones in time, so that I know when I am.

markers of Fall are that first crisp breeze that brings the unmistakeable aroma of
the season, the pulling out of sweaters from storage and starting to wear a
jacket, the first piles of leaves to walk through, and yes, the beginning of
school and all the rituals appertaining thereto. And the holidays; Labor Day is
really still part of summer, but Halloween and Thanksgiving belong to Fall, with
their decorations that imitate the colors Nature dresses in then. The end of the
season is marked with the first wearing of winter coats and the real Christmas
season (as opposed to the September shopping of the highly-organized Marthas and
the advertising retailers begin in August). Despite what the calendar says,
September is Fall and December is Winter.

Fall is the nesting season
for humans. Summer is to be spent out of doors as much as possible (another area
in which this desert climate fails we -- we spend summer in air-conditioning
whenever possible). Fall brings cold rain, wind, and then sleet, and getting a
home ready for winter suddenly looks like fun. Candles, flannel sheets, and sofa
throws all seem like good ideas, and all those warm colors that looked too heavy
in summer start looking homey again.

This is what I'm supposed to be
feeling like in Fall, but it's not easy when the thermometer hit 111F yesterday
and it will be weeks until we can even hope for consistent highs in the 90s. And
wearing short sleeves in February is somehow just wrong. Yes, our February weather
is wonderful, but I'd like it better if it came in about May.

On another topic, check out a couple of interesting perspectives on free speech in
an href="
3e">article by Penn president Judith Rodin
and in the response to the article.

Posted by dichroic at September 5, 2002 10:57 AM
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