It's hard to believe that in a matter of a few weeks it will be autumn.
Next month the season will officially change, a fact attested to by a calendar date, and the first outward signs will manifest: the resumption of the school year. I know; it's no big deal--or shouldn't be--but to me it's a very big deal. Autumn is the last chance I have to enjoy reasonably temperate weather before...well...the next season arrives. This takes on an increasingly poignant significance for me as I get older because, as signs of the aging process continue to make their presence known to me, the most noticeable one--the desire to keep warm--becomes more insistant. That fact does not fill my pea brain with happy thoughts.
Even before I hit and passed the half-century marker I was a warm-blooded person who detested cold weather, cold feet and hands, ice, slush, and sn*w (don't even want to think about that one). Perhaps if I ski'd, ice skated, or enjoyed other wintertime sports, winter might hold greater appeal; sadly, that's not the case. When I was a kid, however, and impervious to cold (yes, there was a time...) I liked few things better during the cold months than to be out in the snow--sledding, skating, building snow forts and sculptures (yes, you read that correctly--sculptures...), and my talisman against the cold was a mug of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows. But that was another Marge, a lifetime ago.
As I write this, my imagination plays mind-movies, some nostalgic and comfy--others, not so much so. As I get older, I recall idyllic summer days to make the wait for the return of spring and summer more bearable, even if those memories are woefully unreasonable in their perfection. When I contemplate those warmer thoughts on some of the coldest days in December and January, the notion of walking barefoot in the grass consistently bewitches me; I find myself wishing I'd done it more, despite wiser counsel which advises against treading upon prickly things which hide in the soft green underfoot. Nostalgia can quickly turn to something less lovely at the memory of bee stings in the bottoms of my feet--I had my share of those--and stubbed toes: every summer, without fail, barefoot Marge would run howling to Mom at least once, big toe bleeding, a little flap of skin dislodged as a result of a misstep on the sidewalk. To this day I can still remember the pain and discomfort of the healing process.
All that said, year after year I endeavor to come up with coping skills to see me through the transition from the warm days to colder ones with limited success. I go from philosophical to pragmatic and back again, meditating on the necessity for the resting months of winter before the earth can awaken in the spring--I "get" that; I just don't like it much.
Writing about such things usually helps me sort out my thoughts and feelings (a hell of a lot cheaper than going to a shrink) and I can honestly say my attitude has shifted just a wee bit since I began; through the windows before me, I see tall pines and maples, green against a blue sky, puffy clouds scudding by, and a light breeze stirs leaves on the trees above and leaves of grass below. It occurs to me I can sit on my ass writing about it, or I can get my nostalgic self outdoors and enjoy it while it's here.
My toes are twinkling, they're telling me we need to make some memories, and I'm listening.