Yep, it’s a smooth jazz kinda day in SoFlo–0vercast, chilly, gloomy. Perfect day for writing interspersed with some old school jazz like Chet Baker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. Some modern artists as well like Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and my favorite, Kurt Elling. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend wherever in the world you are!
This morning was a foggy one. Not too common for South Florida. I still get caught up in the emotions of the mist just as I did when I was a child. I used to be enthralled with the ghostly weather and would scurry to a quiet place to create, pencil in hand, scratching a mysterious story into existence. As an adult, I still feel a connection with that young girl. Only now, in addition to the dash to my quiet place, I acknowledge the uncanny sensation of ties to those who passed. Who are now caught in a misty limbo of sorts, misconceived as haunters, who are the ones haunted. I can relate to their restlessness, their shadows. Memories, donned in disguise, creep in and stir up latent emotions that persist under the conscious radar. I am left, like a viewer seated on a cold, padded folding chair, in a darkened room. An old projector flashes images in black and white on the bare wall in front of me: wet children in soggy socks smiling, laughing their way down a slip and slide, mockingbirds shrilly calling, waiting, fluttering to land in my cupped palms, greedily gobbling crimson cranberries, a butterfly garden bathed in moonlight, the intoxicating, overwhelming perfume of night- blooming jasmine, being cradled, feeling safe, protected for the first time in more than a decade, by someone who was my home, although I had been displaced, whose frame wasn’t four walls and a roof, rather a soul enveloping embrace. The fog has lifted, somewhat, but the pregnant, gray clouds overtly hint at imminent, cleansing precipitation. . .
Regardless of my native Floridian status, autumn is my favorite season. It’s true I’m deciduous leaf challenged and have yet to be so engrossed at looking up at a canopy of crimson that autumn sticks out her leg and down I go.
Yet, I do fall into autumn’s subtleties in other ways. Autumn in South Florida means many things like the traditional scents of the season, such as simmering mulled cider and pumpkin pies cooling on wire racks (in ninety degree plus weather).
But it’s much more than the fragrances of ginger, cloves and cinnamon wafting through the air. It’s sunlight that deepens from lemon zest to golden hues. It’s a sky, not desolate and bleak, but blue as salt water taffy pulled and stretched. It’s lower humidity that doesn’t smother one’s lungs like a scratchy, woolen blanket. It’s briny breezes that strengthen into whipping winds which bully our palm trees. It’s Chrysanthemums, my favorite fall flower, that greet my neighbors who stroll up to my door. It’s the sea, with kicked up waves, pounding the shore and leaving her treasures behind on the sand. It’s a harvest moon rise hauntingly reminiscent of our state fruit.
While someday I hope to view a wide expanse of scarlet maples and canary birches, I must content myself, pumpkin latte in hand, with appreciating my hometown clothed in the fall’s misty dress.