Autumn At Last

I can normally feel the first tiny breath of Fall. Even here, in hottest tropical Louisiana, sometimes at the height of hurricane season when the weather is hot, sticky, and miserable, a day usually comes when that smell starts, drifting down from northern parts unknown. It is subtle, only the smallest of hints, a breeze that brings with it memories of cool nights and dreams of crisp mornings. This year I smelled it in the middle of August, and I thought, that can't be right - Autumn is weeks away. The same week a swarm of love bugs, our twice-yearly scourge, dropped in. My ex-father-in-law used to tell us that when the love bugs come, a cold front is only two weeks away. It had always held true, but this year I was doubtful. A cold front, at the beginning of September? Unheard of here. Can't be.

My senses and his folk wisdom proved true, however, because during the week between Gustav and Ike when we were cleaning up, lo and behold in floated the cool air. It was a nice break, but unfortunately a short one, as Ike arrived a few days later with more flooding and another blast of hot, sticky Gulf moisture.

Since then, however, Fall is slowly but surely creeping back in. Last week a very weak cool front pushed through, not lowering temperatures but bringing in dryer air, a welcome relief here. Monday was the Autumnal Equinox, and, right on cue, yesterday the north wind picked up once again and brought cooler air this time - when I woke up this morning the temperature outside was 61F. (For Louisiana that is cool) As Fall is by far my favorite season, I am happy and my soul is at ease. Good weather for writing. Also for a big pot of gumbo.

1022 words on the novel yesterday, along with more research, thoughts about themes, and the beginnings of a new short story. I'm trying to work up to a daily average of 1500 - 2000 words, but all too often real life intrudes and I have other obligations. Still, progress is progress.

And Autumn has arrived, so it's all good.

25 September 2008


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