You have to understand that Houston is hot about five months out of the year, and for three of those months, it’s nearly unbearable. We are used to it. We deal with it. We choose to live here, but August is not our finest moment. And then, October happens. We pull out light sweaters and boots – not because we need them but because we have them, and we can “get away” with wearing them. We eat lunch outside and breakfast with our doors open. Fall in Texas is like spring in the North. The fever breaks, and we remember what it’s like to feel normal.
This morning I sit at the table, and watch the trees play shadow games on the wall. It’s a cloudless day, but the sun is softer than it was in August. There is a coolness to it. It beckons you out of the shadows. It is gentler than it was in July and August. Friendlier. Calmer. Winter sun, I named him this morning.
I’ve been in desperate need of a winter sun season of my own. The interrogating light and oppressive heat of a trying summer left me parched, my skin scorched, my eyes tired from squinting. The thing about the summer sun is you don’t realize how it’s worn you down until the first glorious breath of fall. Until that first morning when you can sip coffee outside without sweating. Until that first afternoon when you seek out the sun instead of hiding in some semblance of shade.
So I have been resting in this winter sun. It is the safest kind of warm. The shadows dance on even the sunniest of days. You can open your eyes up all the way in this softer light, drinking in every bit of day. The winter sun retires earlier than his inexhaustible summer self, and the nights have stretched in length. Winter sun knows we need to quit earlier, to make soup and sip tea in the dark of evening, to sleep longer and harder. Winter sun seasons are easy to miss. They’re not intrusive. They don’t demand to be noticed. Nothing about them is piercing. But if you lean back against them, they are sweet company and quiet comfort. They are healing balm to the sun-scorched skin of August.
So if summer has left you weary, wait for the winter sun. Fall follows summer. Every time.