30 September, 2006

September Song

I can't help feeling it's been a rather itchy, shabby month.

September, for me, has tradtionally represented the start of something: a new school, a new term, a new season, a new sense of freshness in the air. Up until this year, however, when instead it seems to have been almost wholly devoted to the end of something. Specifically, the end of the long hot summer, including the end of suffocatingly balmy nights and relentlessly blistering days.

It's taken a hell of a long time for remnants of the heatwave to pack up and move out. Even this week the temperature was back in the mid-20s in central London. Signs of autumn kicking in last month were deceptively premature; there was still plenty of discomfort to come and I wasn't ready for it.

The other night, though, there was an exciting foretaste of autumn in the shape of a romantically gloomy wet and windy storm. There is little that is more evocative in life than lying in bed late at night listening to the rain falling outside. I defy anybody to do such a thing and not be moved, be it into some profoundly cosy state of mind or a nostalgically-tinted reverie of other similarly-tinged occasions.

Autumn should, by rights, deliver up a good few dozen such experiences. It's what I always look forward to this time of year, along with the joy of seeing how the evolving climate can have such an immediate impact on things.

A brief rainstorm changes the look and feel of the world around you in as dramatic a fashion as nothing else. Even the colour of buildings and streets alters before your eyes. After months and months of endless sun beating down and imperceptibly bleaching the pavement and grass, the forces of autumn and their restorative, levelling influence upon the very fabric of society are what I'm aching for.

I hope their arrival has been postponed temporarily, not indefinitely.


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