August 28, 2008

Fall has arrived!

I am so glad that fall has arrived. Without a doubt, fall is my favourite season. Oh, I like summer well enough, when everything is hot and slow growing. And spring is exciting and full of anticipation because winter is over, and summer is on the way. But for me, fall is really the best season of all. The only thing I don’t like about fall is that it doesn’t last long enough.

I have a hard time getting motivated to do anything in the summer. Gardening is hot and dirty work that seems totally futile, because everything just dies in the fall. Working in the studio is counterproductive because the heat adds to the frustration and makes most activities more difficult than they should be. There are a lot more visitors, too. So summers at our house are slow and lazy and not particularly productive.

But then comes fall, and that old ‘back-to-school’ excitement provides fuel for starting all kinds of projects, from house renovations to art.

The temperature dipped low enough the other night to put the trees into hibernation mode. Not cold enough to frost, but the leaves have started to loose their color and the birds are congregating around the ponds in preparation for their annual migration. In case that wasn't enough to end summer, the temperature is supposed to dip below freezing this weekend.

Even the rain feels different – it has that ‘fall’ quality to it. There is a beautiful soft rain falling today, gentle and misty, like a west coast rain. I absolutely love the rain, and I often question why I live in a part of the country that gets very little rain. People say that my love of rain comes from its uniqueness – we love it because we don’t get it very often. But the real reason that I love the rain is that, when I was a teenager, I figured that I could complain about it and be miserable every time it rained, or I could enjoy it and be ecstatic. I chose the latter.

I can understand and (reluctantly) empathize with people who live in the city who don’t like the rain. In the city, the rain is just wet that makes your shoes soggy and your hair look bad. The scent is barely there, and it smells mostly like dust and car exhaust. But a hint of the fresh forest scent is there, if one breathes deeply enough, and how one’s hair looks can’t be that important, can it? Really?

Although I totally enjoy walking in the rain in the country, where the smell is so strong it is almost overpowering, and the rain transforms the light so that every view is magical, I also take every chance I get to walk in the rain even when I am in the city. I carry an umbrella, but I seldom open it, unless the rain is pouring down so heavily that it will ruin my clothes. I don’t really care if my hair gets plastered to my head, or my shoes get soggy and wet. I would rather focus on the joy that rain brings to the world as each precious drop falls to quench the thirst of a plant or a bird, to wash away the dirt and grime accumulated through the sunny days, and to replenish the ponds and creeks that support the pockets of wildlife trying to survive despite mankind’s greatest attempts to exterminate them all.

I have been spending the summer gathering ideas and inspirations, and now that fall is finally here, I feel all that September excitement and motivation coming with the rain. Time to dig out the paint supplies!

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