Wednesday, 31 August 2011
September the first
Today, I think it is officially Autumn. Summer's lease did not only have too short a date, but also a rather undistinguished residency. It was, by all accounts, a fairly dismal example with 25% less sunshine than usual and very cool temperatures. But I am not here to discuss something so tedious as the weather.
In the morning, when I can, which is most days. I do yoga in the dining room, on my long blue non-slip mat. I face the garden through a large sliding door with a mahogany frame. The glass of the window, year round, provides a barrier between my bare skin and the elements outside. Thanks to the wonders of civilisation such as central heating, I can stand almost naked, in December when the temperature outside is minus fifteen degrees celcius, and not suffer hypothermia. A few millimetres of glass is quite miraculous like that.
Today is the first day of September. Preparing to perform the first of my Salutes to the Sun, I stretch myself up to the too-low ceiling and as my fingers touch the plaster and curl over, my exposed skin suddenly desires to know what he air feels like. Stretched taut, my midriff is acutely insistent.
I unlock the door and slide it to the right. I step out into the garden. The thermometer tells me it is 10.2C. A cool north-westerly breeze shakes the yellowing leaves of the silver birches on the top patio and causes the branches to bend.
Standing there in just my underpants, the cold air swirls about me. I never did grow that hairy chest so indicative of manliness, so the breeze encounters no impediment in bringing its cool caress.
This is my 47th September 1st, and yet, it is the first I have examined in detail, up close. It examines me too with wafts of fragrant autumnal air around almost every inch of my skin.
I stand for a few moments, not unpleasantly cold, but aware of the temperature differential between what is me and what is "outside of me". At the boundary of where I end and the rest of the world begins, the part that does not report sensation to my senses, coolness explores every inch of me and the inspection is marked with a trail of goosebumps.
I fill my lungs with the air, crisp but not admonishing like frosty air would be. In the breeze hang various fragrances of profusion. The scent of leaves turning from green productivity to yellow retirement, mildly reminiscent of walnuts, some vague fruitful promise from ripening apples over the hedge. Autumn sends on its winds, at least at this benificent stage of it, hints of profusion and an instinct to harvest berries and vegetables is suddenly evoked within me.
Alas, this day, my harvest will be provided by tasks far more 21st century, the thought of which intrudes and with a last look around, a sniff and a small pirouette in delight of the looseness of my limbs unhindered by the constraints of clothing, I step back into my house and the protection and anaesthetic of our artificial warmth.