This morning a hot air balloon, complete with enthusiastically waving riders, floated over the house across the street. Not something you see every day.
There have been a number of large changes in my life over the past few months. Some of them (being able to run again, for example), have been very good. Some have been less so. I'm beginning to understand more about my role in the lives of others. I'm also understanding that I can be a bit demanding and exhausting. I've been scheduling more of my time offline and avoiding my phone. I think this will become my norm, at least until I can adjust to some of the social changes in my life.
Autumn has seemed to last forever this year-- a good thing in my book. We saw the first leaves changing around Labor Day. Fall color usually lasts about three weeks here. Today I'm still looking out my window at the orange leaves on my crabapple tree and when the sun rises while I'm working, my neighbor's tree, seen from my front window, glows golden. I'm not sure why the leaves have stayed, but what this means is that everywhere I look is beautiful.
Flowers are still blooming. Temperatures dip into the high 30s at night, but soar into the 70s by mid-afternoon. I usually wait until 8:30 a.m. to go running because at that point it's usually close to 40 degrees. Coupled with our intense sunshine, outside feels cool and warm at the same time, and that's a pretty perfect running condition.
I have library books that are overdue. I keep getting hate-emails reminding me that after three weeks they can send me to collections for the value of the books and I'll have to pay $10 to reinstate my account. What they don't realize is that I'm challenged by their threats. I keep reading my overdue books because a) I want to see if I can finish them before the three weeks are up, and b) part of me wants to know if they really will send my account to collections. I have one book left. Wednesday marks the three-week deadline.
I'm wondering, as I write this, when mid-semester hits and if I have to turn in grades soon. I'm not curious enough to check the calendar or my university email.
I've heard nothing about the ongoing investigation of my cousin for about a month. I'm hoping they're finished with it and they don't need me anymore. I'm pretending that's what has happened. It makes me feel better.
The birds have commenced flying into my front room windows. It's an annual fall event. We notice the thumps occurring regularly, usually in late September, and by mid-November I have to clean the down and other bird leavings off my windows. Darrin blames the apples we leave on our tree. He says they ferment, the birds eat them, then fly drunkenly into our window. He could be correct. I don't think about it that much.
I've been treated to gorgeous sunrises nearly every morning for two weeks. Sometimes I stop working and just go outside to watch. On warmer mornings, I watch them as I run. I've heard that intensely colored sunrises are harbingers of oncoming inclement weather. Thus far, that has not been the case. I would be fine with another couple of weeks filled with the golden days I've enjoyed throughout October.
When things happen that upset my world a bit, my impulse is to close my doors, talk less-- or talk more about things I don't care about. I'm wary about sharing anything close to my heart. This happened last summer and has continued into the fall. Part of me wonders if this is just who I am-- another part of me feels that it doesn't really matter. People aren't really clamoring to find out what I'm thinking or feeling. Perhaps, when all is said and done, relationships and human interaction are based solely on time and vicinity. When time becomes precious and distance looms between two people, love really doesn't make that much difference.
I think that next year I will plant flowers, herbs, and tomatoes again. It will be the first time in three years.