Many years ago I had a friend would call me from Texas. He would call late at night, when the rates were cheaper, and he would tell me about the weather in Austin. From the vantage point of the chilly fall and cold winter of Illinois, the pictures he painted were disorienting.
80 degrees? Blue sky and bright sun? In November? It was impossible to absorb what he said with local leaves falling, a bitter wind blowing, or white snow gathering on the windowsill outside my dorm window.
This day in Austin was like those long-distance days I heard about. The sky is blue. The trees are green. Wild flowers are blooming. And after we ran along the lake in shorts and tee-shirts, we sat outside at a coffee shop, wishing there was a shady spot to be had.
I should be telling my story and inflicting upon some northerner the disorientation suffered by me those many years ago. But instead, as I worked my way thru my daily browsing, it was I who was disoriented by northerner-Joe and his picture of a new fall day.
The leaves had mostly fallen from the trees, although a dusting of yellow still clung to a few branches deep in the woods. The forest floor was covered in new fallen brown that would crunch as you walked beneath the barren canopy. At the bottom of a hill, water gathered in a swampy low spot and the fallen trunks of trees crisscrossed each other.
I looked at this, and I felt a cold bite in the air. I smelled the smell of fall in the air. I wanted to pull a cap down over my ears. And I could hear the distant echoing call of a crow.
Why should I always be the disoriented one?
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