It's officially fall. Wool socks are lapping up my toes and a piping mug of tea warms my reptilian fingers. When I lived in the grand city of NY, I yearned for fall. The smell of the city wasn't quite so pungent, and a sleepy vibe ensconced on subway platforms. The putrid heat of the summer finally waved goodbye, crack hos stopped ringing my buzzer for "cold soda money", and people began to breathe again, making the city a wee more civilized. Portland's version of fall brings forth a different set of emotions. It's a lovely little green city, a hue that continues to deepen as the sky dribbles incessantly into soil throughout the fall, winter and spring. Flowers brown, leaves drop, and cool air permeates uninsulated interiors. The general energy of the city sinks into subtle melancholy as the last hot bits of sun are eaten by grey.
Yesterday was the first of many cold days to come. I piled on several layers and headed for work on my trusty bike. Since I have nothing resembling an automobile, this year I will be part of the rain bicycling masses as I was when I first moved here three years ago. I'll swathe myself in goggles, saran wrap, rubber shields, and ponchos and face the elements rather than hide from them inside a metal shell. I find the rain to be more tolerable when you cannot avoid it, when you have no choice but to bike or walk wherever you need to go, when you let it saturate you completely, it becomes a daily cleanse rather than another bleak moment in traffic.