Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Seasons Change

By Mitchell

Eve Tushnet passes on a really interesting question: do you get excited when the season begins to change?

We're just about to that point here in Minnesota. The State Fair (one of America's greatest) begins the day after tomorrow, and runs until Labor Day. It's summer's last hurrah, a 12-day stretch where bad weather often clears up just in time for the fair's run, after which fall can decend on us like a ton of bricks.

The last few days have been quite a change from the weather we've had this summer, which has been hot, humid, and relatively free of rain. After a long run of 90+ days in July, we've seen a week where the temps have just barely climbed into the 70s. While on a walk Sunday, we saw some leaves that had already turned color and fallen. It gets dark earlier now, and the night air is cooler. Yes, fall is in the air. Now that I don't have to face going back to school, the trauma caused by the end of summer has ceased, and fall has become one of my favorite times of the year.

It will get hot again, of course. I'd expect we might see a few more days in the high 80s or low 90s before the end of the year. But even then, you might feel that the wind has turned around a bit, that there's an edge to it that wasn't there earlier in the summer.

I mentioned above that fall was one of my favorite times of the year, but really every seasonal change becomes one of my favorite times. One of the great things about Minnesota is the change of seasons, even though we seem to be skipping spring most of the time nowadays, going directly from sloppy late winter snow to a blast furnace in May. But when the soft touch of spring teases us, when the grass begins to green up and the trees start to bud and you start to think about where to go for Easter brunch, it's a welcome site. Likewise, there's something bracing about the crispness of an autumn Saturday afternoon, the crackling of the new snow under your boots on a December morning, and the sparkling wonder of Christmas and the new year. It will be particularly interesting over the next twelve months, our first year living downtown, to see how the city changes with the seasons.

It's unthinkable for me to imagine the year without the seasons - Christmas without snow, springtime without gentle showers, summer without humidity, the State Fair without an autumnal chill. Maybe as we get older, as we get deeper into the autumn of our own years, that will change (it never had to change for Judie; she hates winter about as much as anyone can and still live in Minnesota). Maybe it won't be the same walking to work in -20 temps. But for now this is as good an answer as there is as to why, despite it all, we still love living in Minnesota.

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