Friday, September 23, 2005

A Change of Season

The thermometer outside my home-office window is registering 100 degrees, typical early fall weather for the Sonoran desert. Relatives, who live in the small dark place we call New England, are always riffing on the theme of changing seasons.

They wouldn’t want to live here, they’d miss the changing seasons. Well of course they would. After a long, dark, cold, slush-filled winter (followed by mud time) who wouldn’t rejoice at the emergence of the occasional crocus or tulip and the odd sunny day filled with weak yellow light and temperatures in the low fifties.

Crisp, brisk, fall days? You bet. And what a relief after steamy eastern summers that leave birds gasping on the lawn. And just think, in five or six weeks all the leaves will be gone (from the trees, but not from the yard) and late fall mists and rains will be followed by…oh boy...winter.

Despite what they think we do have seasonal changes here in the desert, but Desert Rats have had to become sensitively tuned to changes of light and temperature to enjoy them.

I noticed riding home from rehearsal last night that there was a very slight edge to the air. Still plenty warm enough for shirt-sleeve riding, but not the unabated continuance of daytime heat that we notice in June.

We’ll celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with ornate picnics in the desert, sunglasses welcome, but keep a light wrap available for the post-sundown brandy. Right after Thanksgiving our Malls will fill with shoppers, many of whom are visitors from the east. They are confused. They are wearing flip-flops and shorts in weather that the desert rat understands requires a light-weight sleeveless down vest.

And they say we don’t have changes of season!

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