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Yesterday, sitting next to an open window with a book in hand, I got a sudden, unmistakable whiff of rain. I looked up, and yes: unexpectedly, drops fell steadily from the sky.

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I live in an area of the country where there is, historically, both a rainy season and a dry season, though the latter is compromised by the dense coastal fog that is a hallmark of this microclimate. Typically, rain arrives in the mid-late fall and stays until the spring. During that time, waterproof boots and coats are a must-have, a must-wear that dominates fashion. It’s easy to cozy up with friends, soup, blankets, and bourbon while such necessities sit in the corner, drying out and readying for the next venture outside.

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In the past few years, there’s been something of a shift in these patterns, but overall, they remain a rough outline of what to expect from our weather systems. Yesterday’s rain was brief and light, but it gave me a taste of what’s to come. We’re at the point in the year where I crave the change in seasons, where I’m ready for thick socks and early evenings.

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Still, we aren’t there yet. I spent most of this weekend outside, in the sunshine, which of course I also adore. I found myself taking pictures in my neighborhood, marveling at how much beauty I see when I really pay attention. I often wonder how much happier we would all be if we did that; if we made going outside a veritable scavenger hunt of colors, textures, and shapes.

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Well before the rain arrived yesterday, one thing was already clear: the summer colors are fading, just as those native to fall are starting to arrive. Apples are weighing their branches down; the days are indeed shorter. Autumn stands poised and ready to knock, ready to be let in, ready to take things down a notch and offer the invitation to slow ourselves down.

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I, for one, am ready for it.

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