Do you hear that?

Listen. Be very still. Listen again…

Do you hear that slight rustle in the trees? That’s autumn. She’s pushing in – almost without notice. She’s strong, she’ll make it. Yes, summer is holding on here in Charleston with all he’s got. It’s hotter than blazes and twice as humid.

Still…if you hold your head just right, you can hear her.

Most of us can’t wait to feel that just right, sweet fall weather. We’re hopeful. We’re excited and our bodies want to shiver with anticipation. They can’t. They’re still too busy sweating. We’re doing our best to stay as cool as possible. The weather reports that we’ll be cooling off in the next couple of weeks.

Let me be clear about what that means, Charleston style. Plainly stated, we will drop from the 90’s into the 80’s. The heat index will drop from a “plus 10 degrees” to “no increase.” And, the humidity will drop from 90% plus, to maybe 70%. Oh please let it be true.

Yes, I know I moved here of my own free will. I have made peace with the weather. Still, right now I feel the thrill of anticipation like a kid at Christmas. Actually, this is better than Christmas because it is a whole season – well, really it is two seasons and a bit more.

Autumn brings us crisp, dry paper on which the ink doesn’t run. Autumn invites us to enjoy clothing that doesn’t wrinkle as soon as it touches our skin. Autumn allows us to leave a cookie on the counter while we get a class of milk, trusting that the cookie will not turn to mush before we get to savor a bite. Not to mention that it will be thrilling to turn on the cold and it will actually be…cool-ish, at least cooler than the hot water.

Autumn brings so many gifts.

Such relief. The heat and his twin sister humidity won’t start poking at us again until March or April. We’ll have a lovely time until they begin to pound at our doors driving us to turn the AC on and hide.

Did I say that I love the autumn, winter and early spring in the South? They are heaven. I can usually walk in the ocean all through the winter. We will have time to breathe deeply and travel relatively bug free. The trees start blooming the second or third week in February. Oh, there is so much to get excited about!

As for now, we listen and watch. We wait, a bit impatiently, and we sweat. I will go through my pre-autumn ritual of moving the sweaters and long sleeve shirts to the front of the closet. Perhaps this will help sister Autumn hurry herself along. I will dream about planting lettuces, pansies and herbs as soon as the weather breaks.

Yep, I am sure I can hear autumn coming.

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