- Cool days have arrived, and cold will not be far behind. Some leaves cover the ground, but great mounds are to follow. The days are shorter, but in a month nights will seem to last forever. Meanwhile, anticipation for end of year holidays builds and commercial displays are beginning to blossom everywhere.
- This is a culture which thrives on anticipation. Some people could not wait for the heat and light of summer to end. They were either bored with it, or annoyed by the humidity, and find crisp breezes invigorating. Soon enough they will wish for snow, and then grow tired of winter’s freeze. I have grown out of always hoping for the next thing, and trying to enjoy this thing right here. Today is bright, clear, cool, and only grudgingly autumn, as much remains bright green, and I celebrate it as it is.
Our world ever new awakes
Each day to calmly opened eyes
Before fevered brain kicks in
Firmly layers us complex
Sandwiched into heaven, hell
Unsure remembered maybe pasts
Imagined could be hopes and fears
Identical transmuted self
- Last week displayed mid-autumn, but felt like August. This week the reverse. Folks in hats, gloves, and heavy jackets vainly seeking incredible foliage. In some ways, the contrasts are quite pleasurable, like unexpected spices on food. On the other hand, the dissonance can be disquieting.
- I rejoice that experience is so fractured and inconstant. Perfect serene and complementary moments, when they exist, quickly become boring. Surprise feeds my enjoyment. So if I rush out the door into right sunshine, only to dash back for some warm wrap, that’s fun. Virtual reality misses that so far, which makes it very very far from true reality.
Mission-focused streams of overly dressed people stride around Hecksher pond, bright cold and windy day, too cool too rapidly for the season. Joan says, “well, at least they’re smart enough to be wearing hats.”
She has a point. “Yeah, I know, when the season sneaks up there’s a tendency to not dress well at all. Look _ even the kids on the playground have winter coats.”
“I see so many people all year just walking around with sweatshirts, no hat, nothing, like it’s summer. I’m sure they have to get sick. And their kids …”
“I once saw somebody running across the street in town in a snowstorm in bare feet and tee shirt,” I remark.
“Well, probably crazy drunk. I’m talking about normal people.”
“I guess it’s easy for us to change outdoor dress. I just move the winter stuff to the front of the closet, and when I reach in there it is. I think we were a lot more mixed up when we were younger.”
“You might have been more mixed up,” she remarks. “But it sure was harder when the boys were small.”
“The other thing,” I continue, ignoring her, “is that our stuff _ my stuff at least _ is much better quality now. So I can wear the same boots, coats, gloves year after year and they hardly age. Hats, I admit, I still wear out pretty quickly.”
“Don’t forget the lined driving gloves I have to get you almost every Christmas.”
“Right. But even so, I’ve hardly bought anything new in years. The good stuff just lasts and lasts.”
“But your Bean stuff costs a fortune …” she complains.
“It works. It almost never needs replacing. And it is easy to find, because all I do is push it back in the closet.”
“That’s just you!” she says in a huff. “I love to buy new things, and new things discounted are the most fun in the world.”
She matches the American consumer. I don’t. We continue to sit on the bench in silence, and watch the parade continue.