The coming of autumn happens early in the East. Sometime in August, the first crisp days start. Leaves turn, winds frisk, temperatures drop. Fall comes in differently in Phoenix. The days stay hot, often in the high 90s, but the night time temperatures drop from the 90s to the 70s. Doors and windows let in cool air. Last year it happened around September 12. This year it started the last week of September. The wind shifts from the South to the West. Fall is, quietly, here.
I start walking in the morning again. Flowers start to bloom again. Migrating birds show up, slowly at first.
The subtle changes make you pay attention more closely. You look at every slight change in the oranges, which have started to grow again. The recent storm pushed over two dozen trees in the neighborhood, making me glad I spent the money to have mine trimmed to let wind pass through.
There will still be hot days, but it feels safe to exhale, to go out without a hat.
Fall in Phoenix is a lot like keeping a gratitude journal—the more you notice, the more you see to notice. These are the weeks that the son finally loses the battle with the horizon. The days shorten enough to keep the temperature down. I celebrate New Year in the fall, because it feels like survival and rebirth all in one
–Quinn McDonald waits all summer for this moment of Fall