The needle will nudge 85 degrees today, but I stepped outside and the morning air had a bite. My bare legs and arms sent a quick query to my brain: sweater? It’s been months since I’ve had such a thought.

Giant dewdrops weighed on the grass blades waiting to seep through my thin-soled flats. And it was natural moisture, not a leftover soaking from the sprinklers.

I started my car and flipped on the windshield wipers squinting as the sun refracted through the persistent dampness clinging to the glass.

It’s fall.

Memories flooded back of morning treks across the wet junior high field. Then stomping my dripping, grassy sneakers on the blacktop in a futile attempt to remove the clinging vestiges before my first period English teacher could send me back out to excise any evidence of nature that might soil her industrially linoleum-ed classroom. And a few years later standing on the soggy grass of the high school field, feeling the dampness work through my shoes during zero period. Before long I’d be peeling off layers and tying them around my waist as we ran through our field show. The cool air a mild relief from the exertion of marching and playing the flute.

Leaves might not change color and abandon their branches here. But—in a day—the easy-to-miss transition has brought cooler, damper mornings as we move a little farther from the sun’s scorching rays.

And the fingers of change give me moments to feel the shift in rhythm, to absorb what has been and is no more, what is still to come and what lingers on the fringes of possibility. Snippets of spontaneous reflection and reminders of lessons learned but forgotten sail in with crisper air.

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