It is a beautiful state. Flowers of all kinds are everywhere. The outskirts of the city are green and fragrant and overflowing. A creeping, reaching, twisting, overflowing lushness abounds that isn't entirely present in the North where foliage has less time to run beyond its bounds. I love the abandoned houses found here and there throughout the countryside. Deteriorating aesthetically and hugged by vines and hibiscus.
But now the real test. It is autumn. I have always hated this season. It's so beautiful everyone says, but I don't care that it's beautiful. It is the fading away of a summer that I still feel like I can just touch. It is watching everything die and witnessing the weakening and fading of the sunlight, which weakens and fades myself. The days become short. The landscape becomes an expanse of grey. And worst of all there is the anticipation of 6 months of forced imprisonment. I hate it. Sometimes the weak, slanting sunlight make me feel oddly ill, headachy and nauseous.
But this, so far, I can do. I dictate this on my phone at midnight in a light mist while walking my dog. I wear only light pants and a t-shirt and I am comfortable. It's nearly November and I am wrapped in a gentle warmth and a comfortable rain. The ability to keep stretching my wings and my legs in what's left of the sunshine even as the trees shed around us feels healthy and joyful and it seems to be staving off some of the dread and the sadness. The weather is what I will most miss if I leave North Carolina.
The leaves are falling and soon everything will be dead, and there will be snow. But it will be gentler, shorter, kinder and more bearable. More of me, I hope, will stay alive and vibrant.