The Nostalgia of Light
I noticed it, unofficially, a couple weeks ago. It was just a moment in an otherwise miserable day. But with this weekend behind, we are now in what I’m calling the nostalgic days. The air is light and the light is airy. The sky has returned to a deep unnatural blue from its vacation of milky, humid opaque. Autumn is being phased in again.
During nostalgic days the brain remembers that autumn is a time of invigorating bliss; when the cool air returns and the mosquitoes die. The shadows deepen, mornings are dark and everything becomes all contrast-y again. Breathing becomes easy and life’s woes subside. The leaves change from an overly officious uniformity of greens to a masquerade ball of individualism and whimsy that culminates in Halloween and death. In autumn, we snuggle again. We mow the fields one last time and we ride out the slide into darkness and productivity.
The threat and misery of winter is well over the horizon. The beleaguered days of the mid-Atlantic summer fades like a bad memory. Fortunately for the humans, the memories of pain are never keen. In January, we’ll all pray for July again. The shoulders, autumn and spring, make living in the east worthwhile. The monotony of hundreds of perfect California days, while glorious, faints into the background of being.
I’ve grown to appreciate the work involved in the long march to the shoulders.