It took a while to surface from sleep, this morning. In my dream, it was the middle of winter and I was walking home from the writing group I belonged to back in Detroit. Snow was everywhere, and as I walked I realized my feet were bare. I remember thinking how odd, because my feet weren’t cold at all but I began hurrying anyway, aware frost bite was a distinct possibility.
That’s about the time I woke up, to Phish’s song “Bouncing Round the Room” cheerfully filling my bedroom. Sometime during the night I had pulled the blanket at the end of the bed over me and that is when I noticed the cool breeze billowing the curtains, rushing over me – today is the first morning in over three months I haven’t woken up sticky with sweat, early morning sun pushing me from bed before my alarm does.
Autumn, I thought – breathing the word in deeply and exhaling it with a sigh. Autumn is on its way.
The sweet relief of summer giving way to fall. College students moving back into the city, filling up our nooks and crannies, claiming apartments that remain empty throughout the summer, taking up tables at favorite restaurants, cramming the grocery stores. A few leaves already falling from the trees although we are weeks away from the colors turning.
I fell into stupidity this summer – I’ll be the first to admit it. The first trimester of my pregnancy combined with the stifling heat – day after day in the high nineties – combined with nausea that showed up three times a day like clock-work (8:30 am, 4:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.) – I found myself collapsed on the couch more often than not, watching television instead of reading or writing – accomplishing little around the house in terms of cleaning or rehabilitation. In addition to the fatigue (both pregnancy and heat-related), I found my taste buds all out of wack and food a mine field – avocado suddently made me gag, steak sent me running for the bathroom, anything too strongly flavored (feta cheese, kalamata olives, red onion) had to be avoided. I found myself enamored with grilled American cheese sandwiches, baked doritos, lemon flavored yogurt – if it had yellow dye number 5 in it, I probably ate it during the first trimester. This was completely the opposite of what I imagined myself doing prior to getting pregnant, so certain I would feed my unborn baby nothing but organic fruit, veggies and whole grains.
But now, autumn is nearly here! This weekend we began testing paint colors for the nursery. I cleaned. I ruthlessly attacked my “to do” list on the television DVR and deleted all sorts of television shows about to be taped and instead began reading The Lacuna. My palate, while still turned off my old favorites like avocado and peaches, can now tolerate things like greek yogurt, pecans, paprika, rasberries. Soon I will begin cooking soups and stews and casseroles instead of relying solely on Sam’s grilling or desperately seeking the sanctuary of air-conditioned restaurants. I have one full season left before the baby is born and while I don’t subscribe to the theory that my life will totally and completely change once he or she is born (surely, there will be time, after a bit, for yoga, and for reading and writing) I do know there will be less time for the quiet contemplation found in revising an essay or attempting a new recipe.
I know I’ve written about this before but I’ll say it again, anyway – I truly don’t think I have a favorite season. I love all of them for what they bring, from the sun-soaked days of July to the bitter damp bone cold of February, but even more I think I enjoy the time between the season changes the most – summer to fall, when you can get away with wearing shorts and an old college sweatshirt, bake apple pie one day and go out for ice cream the next – it’s the transitions I relish, the promise they bring of a whole entire new season stretching out before you, ripe with space and promise and long days to fill, anyway you choose.