Arizona has hit the first October cold spell, which means snow in Flagstaff and beach weather (70's) around Phoenix. It's refreshing to currently be right in the middle, after four years in the greater Phoenix area for college. That is, it was sort of shocking to go outside today and feel that it was so cold already. I didn't spend all four years solid in the Valley of the Sun, but I missed a lot of season transitions from being there. (Phoenix has its own season transitions, which can be rather entertaining, but they're unique.)
I was getting used to the idea of October meaning comfortable weather. But now October means time to bring out the pants and occasional sweaters and to put away the sandals. My toes were cold on Sunday morning in their little sandal wedges; I told myself, no more. And today, the day it snowed in Flagstaff, I hugged my sweater indoors.
It's like it's my first summer to fall transition in a very long time. Phoenix has gentle, ebbing transitions accompanied by the odd day--like a 40 degree day alongside a 70 degree day. But now I can wake up to mornings cooling and see the trees turn orange and look forward to snake season ending. I can step outside and breathe in cool air under a warm sun. I can layer on scarves. I can let my skin cool and transition my gaze from the blaring sun above to the cool earth beneath.
More than this, I feel freedom. It's the freedom to observe all of this, unfettered by the city world. For it isn't the natural side of Phoenix that bothered me; it wasn't the heat, but the city that I didn't care for. Today I am invited back to the natural world.