Autumn is not my favorite season, although this year the change in temperature has been more than welcome. After seventy-three consecutive days with temperatures above ninety degrees, the recent coolness that has descended upon us has seemed like heaven.
But today, after two days of rain and snow, clouds and the kind of misty drizzle that paints halos around the moon––when she's visible––Autumn seemed perfect: cool but warm enough to walk slowly through the park, to lay in the grass with Duncan and roll around while he bombarded my face with so many kisses at times I felt I was drowning. It was a bright and windless afternoon with the constant rustle of golden leaves falling from the trees at their leisure, making a twinkling sort of music that makes it almost worth it. The ground is nearly covered in leaves, and walking through them, trailing Roo, who slices and gallops through them with the kind of joy only dogs know, was like walking on a golden cloud, the sun dappling us from above and reflecting off a million, curling amber hands, each of them waving farewell until next year.
Recently I lamented the passing of Summer on Facebook and my good friend Kemia was kind enough to remind me, "My dearest Curt -- take a lesson from wise Duncan and embrace it with every fiber of your soul. A season reviled is lost, and that is a tragedy. There is beauty to be found in the hardship and struggle of winter, as well as in the quiet, white beauty it brings."
She is right, of course, but the first snow is a bitter and difficult thing. But I suppose as long as there are afternoons like this, with my best friend at my side, there is more than enough to be grateful for and to delight in.
It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. (P.D. James)