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Feeling Like Fall

Garth Brown |

Despite this post’s title, it hasn’t been unseasonably cold here. Rain has lately been regular enough to keep the grass growing, and while the stream is still low, it's not any more than usual for this time of year. But the weather has nevertheless been strange. Days have been at once cool and humid, with mornings of low clouds breaking by noon only to pile up into thunderheads by dinner. There’s nothing about it that specifically evokes fall, yet I’ve been having the same feeling of wistful joy that I associate with a cool October afternoon.

I wonder how individual the connection between weather and mood is. Part of it is certainly historical. Since I’ve lived my whole life in the northeast the changing seasons are a background rhythm to my life, and when I’ve visited places with radically different climates I’ve felt their absence immediately. I expect most people experience a version of this, tuning to the environment in which they’ve most often lived, but what’s harder to understand is why a particular emotion arises in response to certain combination of temperature, humidity, and light.

Discussing the subjective experience of an inner state is always difficult, and it’s doubly so when it’s diffuse and not associated with an event, but instead with the calendar flipping towards its end. Why frost, apple cider, and the turning leaves should make me at once love this world more than ever even while I long for a better one is unknowable, as is why I’m feeling this precise October way in August.

Garth Brown

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