Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It smells like autumn

Note: Last night's post has just gone up, backdated, because the internet went down here at Chez Bowman-Murray just after I got home from yesterday's evening screening.

After Tropical Storm Ike blew through Arkansas Saturday night, scouring the atmosphere and leaving the state littered with fallen trees, fall seemed to arrive almost instantaneously. Morning temperatures dropped into the fifties, meaning that Cady Gray and I need sweaters when we stroll around the corner to school. The scent of smoke was in the air, although goodness knows who was burning what. Suddenly it's time to switch dresser drawers and find the kids' long pants, woefully small and inadequate for the new season.

Fall has always been my father's favorite season, and because I take after him in almost all things, I tend to take special notice of its glories. Here in Arkansas fall comes in time for Halloween, littering the ground with dry leaves, and winter's chill is short. The sky turns a brilliant deep blue, the color of a Caribbean bay. From the football stadium a block away, we can hear the roar of the crowd and the celebratory boom of the cannon marking a score for the home team.

The arrival of fall means that everyone feels more in the mood for school, no longer resentful because it's still summer outside. It's a philosophical feeling, a sense that a remote table tucked away in the corner of the library stacks is just the right place to be. Coffee drinks, sweaters, lingering in the dorm lobby on the way out to class ... fall on a college campus.

And if it's fall now and the semester has begun in earnest, that means holidays are not too far away. Next summer seems just a hop, skip, and jump through the class schedule.

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