Colder Weather

We’re used to smelling things that are supposed to have a scent. Perfume, flowers, orange blossoms, the smell right after you blow out a candle.

A cake baking in the oven, firewood burning, the lingering smell of fabric softener on just-dried clothing, sugar that’s caramelizing on a stovetop.

Coffee brewing, bacon frying, the salty sea air, even snow — I think snow has a very distinct smell.

Tonight, I smelled adjectives. I walked outside and I could smell damp; I could smell cold. It smelled like there was heaviness in the air, and sure enough, you could see it.

Tonight’s air encourages sounds to be lazy. They take a bit longer to reach the ear, and when they do, they’re put off a bit; they’re not eager to deliver their message in a clear manner, but instead they’re slightly weary and the words are slurred. Case in point: the distant sound of the Mark Twain Riverboat whistle at Disneyland seems burdened as it travels through the night, but when it reaches me, it’s pure beauty.

The stars which were practically magnified by crystal clear skies over the past few nights now had a misty ring around them. Airplanes could still be seen stretched out for miles as they lined up and prepared to land, but tonight they looked fuzzy against a backdrop that was no longer inky, but more of a murky obsidian.

A streetlight confirmed the atypical scent in the air; ribbons of something slightly less dense than fog swirled in their amber glow. It was as though you could see a new season arriving.

One of the worst things that could happen would be for tomorrow to usher in an 80-degree day; the magic of the evening would fade with each millimeter the mercury rose. If I could bottle tonight’s weather and keep it around for the next few months, I would. Tomorrow’s high, however, will only be in the 60s, so I can get on board with that. Somewhere in the 60s is plenty warm enough for me — particularly for November.

Tonight I am thankful for the beautiful shift in our weather, and for the spell the dampness has cast across the county. Here’s hoping it decides to stay around for a string of consecutive weeks, and that another Indian summer or balmy December isn’t just around the corner.

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