Fall All the Same

During a scene in The Great Gatsby where several characters languish in the summer heat of New York City, one character chastises another for being “morbid” in her attitude and declares that “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

Here, the weather doesn’t get “crisp” in the fall the way it does in NYC. Nor is it the fall weather of my Chicago childhood; I’ve never woken to frost on windowpanes or trees stripped bare by overnight winds.

But it is fall, and there is a shift. The thick daytime heat breaks earlier now in the evenings, and the beach crowds have thinned with summer vacations long over and children now occupied with school. The beach, I think, is now a softer version of its summer self.

Kids still steal away in the evenings or on weekends, in search of sand and waves.

But there’s more sitting now,

more lazy castle-building,

more rolling within the waves than riding high above them.

There’s more relaxing,

more loosening.

I wouldn’t call it crisp, I guess.

But it’s fall all the same.

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