I remembered how I felt on a September day decades earlier, when we visited a shopping center in northern Virginia. We had recently moved to the Washington region, and as I stepped from the car onto steaming blacktop I wondered if I would ever grow used to the heat and humidity of summer in my new home. (I did, of course.) So I knew from experience that summer, more than likely, would be staying around for a while.
Yet the neighborhood children returned to school this week (although yesterday's historic earthquake has them home today). And our family is making Thanksgiving plans. I've already been enlisted to bake an apple pie. I even find myself thinking about Christmas, and this morning I put on a jacket for my walk for the first time since May.
This is how the seasons change, one crisp day, one fond thought, one stray heat wave or ripe peach at a time. Fall blows whiffs of dry leaves into summer; summer sends sun-warmed tendrils reaching into fall. One morning I will slip on socks instead of sandals, and it will be the most natural thing in the world.
(And John reluctantly acknowledges that he won't have a basil crop this year. He started his seeds too late.)