New England weather
breeds New Englanders: that changing sky
is part of being born and drawing breath
and dying, maybe, where you’re meant to die.
(From “New England Weather” by Archibald MacLeish).
I find that my blog posts often discuss something as mundane as the weather. The weather, known as the ultimate topic for small talk, the most meaningless of communication, the lowest common denominator between two strangers. But, we are in New England, land of “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,” Snowpocalypse, and the most beautiful autumn in the country.
For this last reason, I am positively jubilant right now.
In the three weeks that I’ve been here at Tufts for my sophomore year, the heat has been suffocating. We’ve left pools of our sweat in all areas of campus, drained many water bottles per day, and haven’t gotten a wink of sleep due to the heat. My roommate and I have been adjusting our window fan constantly to try to find the optimal air circulation. I enjoyed summer and all of the lovely beach days that come with it, but it’s time to shut the window on the humidity and sweat.
So we turn to autumn, and this past weekend marked the turning point: a dry 72 degrees in our corner of West Somerville. The most glorious month of New England’s year is directly in front of us, and I can’t help but feel love and gratitude for living in this part of the country. The fire-painted foliage and crisp air is ours to enjoy, and we will greet it with flannel shirts, walks outside, and a steadfast refusal that there are such bitter months to follow.
Finally, as we stand on the doorstep of autumn’s beauty, we have a month-long respite from complaining about the weather. We can appreciate the place in which we live and remember why we love to reside in a region with a landscape that changes throughout the year. But, we can agree that not all seasons are created equal. In John Keats’ “To Autumn”, one of the most anthologized works of all time, he does manage to degrade both summer (which has “o’er-brimm’d” the bees’ flowers) and spring (“Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?/Think not of them”), while no more words shall be wasted on winter.
The sublime weather and landscape may be short-lived, but now is the time for autumn in New England. There’s no place I’d rather be.