Greatest Morning

I’m sitting on our deck. It was hastily made, as are most of the row homes in Northern Virginia, thrown up with quick effort because time is money. The deck is narrow, untreated, and the wood is buckling underneath. It creaks as you walk across it and can’t fit any decent deck furniture. But we make it work.

On the narrow stretch of it, we have plants all in a row. Pepper, tomato, tomato, and each are reaching heights taller than us as they stretch for what little sunlight we get on this western side of the house that’s bordered by trees. On the other end of the deck, we have two chairs and a tiny table only big enough to allow a plant, magazine, and cup of coffee.

Northern Virginia summers do not welcome moments spent on the deck. They do not give allowance to dinners during sunset or lunch under shaded umbrellas. It’s too hot here, too humid, so all meals are spent indoors well away from the stickiness.

But with September came the strongest hint of autumn. A hurricane churning up the coast and different weather patterns forced away the heat and humidity. A breeze came, fresh and clean but probably due to the storm off the shore, and the sky was a true blue that was void of the humid haze.

We cautiously slept with the windows open, uncertain if it would be cool enough to cause us to sleep comfortably. But it was, and blankets were necessary, and we woke to only the sound of crickets. Even the birds are marveling in the cool weather and staying silent.

But I’ve ventured out. Clutching a hot coffee in one hand and a blanket in the other, I’ve made way to my deck chair and have sat under reflective clouds. The breeze comes and goes like waves and I keep thinking I’m grateful for the storm that’s churning up the blustery air.

Come March, 60 degree temperatures will feel like a heat wave. But for now it’s chilly and my blanket is required. Covering my bare legs–I should have worn pajama pants–but then moved to wrap around my arms–I shouldn’t have worn a tank top. My summer wardrobe suddenly seems out-of-place. My autumn clothing that’s a little warmer is demanding attention. I look at the weather forecast and see this cold front won’t last–it’ll return to the 90s by next week–but that only urges me to remain outdoors no matter how chilly it is.

The cats are enjoying it as well. The adventurous Lily is curled up on the deck, looking out at the great world while Joe, ever more cautious, has sat in the doorway. I’m welcoming of the quiet and I hope that it can still my busy mind. I have many things to do, there’s always a list of activities that need to be accomplished, but for now I’ll sit still in this autumnal air and embrace the silence.

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