Late in the afternoon yesterday, I biked out to the border of San Anselmo and Fairfax for a meeting. When I left my house, the sun was getting ready to set, but it was still warm out there. I rode for the better part of my journey in a golden light, which is the hallmark of mid-October. I worked up quite a sweat, too, as I tried to keep up my speed on the narrower streets without dedicated bike lanes, where bikes and cars had to share the road by law, if not always in the spirit of cooperation.
Once the sun set, the winds picked up. By the time I came home and settled in, things changed a little more dramatically. Suddenly, there was a scratching at the windows, a sound familiar, but not quite identifiable. Lifting the shade to investigate, I realized the source was rain. That first rain of the season, the sounds and smells of wet pavement and foliage, is always a surprise that carries both anticipation and sorrow.
I went to bed expecting more lullabies from the tap-tap of rain on the roof, but instead we got thunder and lightning. Definitely not part of the usual seasonal package of weather for our corner of the world.
This morning, when I got up, the skies were swaddled in the thick down of clouds that looked soiled with night. The world underneath the arc of the diminished sky seemed bleached of color, as if the little rain we did have was plenty enough to remove the brightness of summer’s makeup.
Still, in a day or two, the sun could be back, wresting a few more overheated days from the waning daylight hours, before the season gathers full force and opens the floodgates of the heavenly reservoir of rain on the torrents of which it will send the sun downstream to other lands.
Oh, and in case you wondering if I biked back in the windy night? Nope… had a ride home in the comforts of a warm car.