The dark fades rather than the sun rising. Low grey clouds race down the skies, chased by a north wind, the first strong north wind in several months. The trees sway, leaves sighing, clattering, hissing as branches toss like women tossing their hair. The plants seem greener, even in the dim light. Windows open, doors open, air conditioners fall silent. A school bell rings, faintly, under the sound of wind in the trees.
Animals, two footed and four, perk up, looking around. There’s a sense of hurry. Partly because of the cool wind that gives new energy to heat-drained dogs and humans. And partly because we know, without a doubt, that summer’s back is broken. Her time is drawing to a close. The sun now trickles in through south-facing windows, night creeps in a little earlier, and grey clouds swath the sky, autumn clouds.
The first grey norther of the year sweeps down from Canada. Heat will return, but this is the warning, the promise, depending on your views on summer versus autumn.