The trouble started with blue jeans. One does not usually think of any sort of trouble being involved with pants, unless it is the removal of such, but there it is. For the first time since the community melodrama, I found myself in jeans. For the last little over two months, I had been living in shorts and found it good. Part of this circumstance I can place blame on sempi under the auspice of obligation.
"It's not cold yet!" I protested. "And you said I could wear shorts, Sir."
"The season's over," he said. "We'll revisit wearing shorts next summer, but, until then; wear pants."
No, I was not thrilled. I have a hard and fast belief that the perception of clothes making the man-or woman-being a sickness, but that perhaps comes from being fucked with for my appearance long before I grew my hair long, got piercings, or the drawings upon my flesh in black India ink. Being too tall, too skinny, with eyes too big for the rest of my face will do that, I suppose. I do not take well to even being suggested how to look.
Be that as it may, sempi's directive became perhaps the second reason; despite the warmth of the days, the overnight temperatures have begun to dip into the high thirties. I noticed what looked like frost upon the grass. My breath appeared in clouds of vapor. For the bicycle rides down valley, I've been wearing my soft-shell, and the breezes have carried a bite. I hope to be able to continue to ride at least through the month, if not longer, but I know that's at the whims of meteorology. The idea of reteaching myself to drive after a summer of not seems alien and vaguely annoying.
Fucking great, I'll have to start budgeting for petrol once more. Come to think of it, if there's frost, I'll have to start budgeting for pellet-stove fuel. An inevitability, certainly, but still something of a strange shock when it starts to appear upon the event horizon.
The barrier fence, between the bike path and part of the Road, which is erected between the holidays that bookend the summer tourist season for cyclists, has been taken down. It is a little unnerving at first, riding briefly by speeding vehicles without the day-glow orange plastic to give the illusion of comfort, before hurtling down along the canyon rim at the speed of pure inertia. I know that barrier would not stop a hunk of metal and plastic from smashing into me if it came down to, but not having it there takes a little bit to get used to.
I have mentioned recently the leaves have already started to change up here. The theories abound from the dry winter and spring, to a decent monsoon, to omens of the End of Days. I think one friend of mine is spot on, though; no one really knows for sure, and it's just one of those mysteries. Although I am more inclined to want to solve a mystery than let lie, sometimes, hypocritically, I just let it go, not finding the answer so all-consuming.
Meteorological prophecy foretells of a one day cool-down. Nothing horrific. No flakes flying. Maybe not even any rain. Just enough of a shift to give a clear sign that autumn is coming and really kick-start the aspens into their myriad of colors. It's a given the scent of wood smoke will perfume the thin mountain air. A scent that may start to become more of a regular occurrence as the days shorten. Another omen in the dynamic of the seasons. This is the Tao of the High Country. So it goes.