There’s been something different in the air this week. Is it the quality of light?
I always think of light in Summer as golden, burning, somehow heavy. Not heavy like winter but heavy like it makes its presence known. The concrete gives off heat, the ducks hide under the thin shade of the bridges, people scurry along from shade to shade. Every blast of the AC is greeted with eagerness with every pull of the glass doors.
But now the light has turned silverish. The air seems lighter, fresher. If only because the season is changing.
Hint of Fall here in New York City.
The heaviness of Summer and the golden light always reminds me of Calcutta. And Florida. Except for the lack of humidity.
Somehow, Summer seems strong, as though it’s made its place in the sequence of months through quiet deliberation and certitude, pushing the other seasons out of the way. Summer has clarity. Summer is definite. At least in places I’ve lived in.
Fall is light. Fall is sparkling. Fall reminds me of California–blue skies, blue waters, white clouds. Not colour yet. Maybe in a few more weeks but not yet.
Change brings out differences in people. Some feel cold, some feel warm. Some have cardigans on while others live on in their tank tops. The smallest dogs have their warm clothing on in the evenings as they scurry along while their big counterparts are still panting. Some are still eating cooling salads for lunch while others are venturing to spicier stuff.
There’s a lot of hope in the air too. New school sessions, new books, new challenges, new friends.
Summer is relief for many. The requiem to the old school year. A chance to catch up on work fallen behind or work to get ahead.
But Fall is a fresh start.
Fall is hope.
But Fall is also a reminder that many outdoor activities will close down soon. No more kids jumping in the fountain at Washington Square Park. No more people freely at their Tai Chi sessions on the concrete. No more Farmers’ markets in the smaller parks. No more loitering on the benches.
Very soon, one and all will have to be wrapped up in black, and black, and black, all huddled together, putting on layer after layer after layer of armour in preparation for Winter.
[I was thinking of inserting a picture or two in this post. But I don’t think the pictures would reflect how the light has changed for me. I wasn’t sure how the spirit of the people enjoying their last few days of outdoor freedom would look like framed by the boundaries of a photograph. I’d have to be a very sensitive photographer to get that spirit! So I didn’t risk it.]