When I moved to North Georgia, I noticed that there was a certain breeze that arrived every year around September 1.
A breeze that was not fresh like the breezes of spring, or humid like the hot breezes of summer.
A breeze that bites with ice.
It’s distinct from the lovely breezes that start cooling off the house at the end of August. Those are just like small electric fans, moving the air, softening it.
No, the September 1 breeze gets your attention. It is sharp.
You run around and shut all the windows in a hurry. You make sure there’s enough blankets on the bed. You consider turning on the heater. You have a cup of hot tea after dinner.
Fall has arrived.
Yes, there will still be days above 80 degrees, and there’s still time to take one last swim in the lake. You can’t put the citronella candles in storage just yet; the bugs will be mating and hatching even now.
But the season has changed irrevocably.
The breeze came tonight.
As I closed the windows, I felt another pang looking out in the driveway. We just started up the Jeep today after three long months when it sat there unused. The lost summer.
I only bought my third bag of peaches yesterday. We didn’t even make it to the community pool once.
Doesn’t matter what you did or did not do. The breeze will come, whether you are ready or not.
Close the windows.
Today’s penny is a 2008, for the first year that I wrote in my naturalist’s notebook on September 1: “Air feels different…”