It's so cool now in the mornings. Well, Queensland version of cool anyway where putting on a light jumper and stockings constitutes getting "rugged up". I'm optimistic this year that I might actually get to wear my coats - a mid-thigh length red wool cashmere coat and a black ankle length one. I'm not holding my breath on the black one, but I'd love to snuggle into my red one this year. There's something about dashing about in sleety weather while the wind howls dressed in scarlet that makes it all seem like a big adventure instead of dismal.
The worst thing about the cold is that the Monkey is still feeding. Woohoo you might say - recalling my sadness at the fact that she may have been weaning... but let's just say that the Monkey has thrown herself back into breastfeeding with a voracious appetite. An appetite that includes sucking my nipple back through her teeth at unexpected intervals leaving them exquisitely sore and chaffed. In the shower this morning I winced as the warm water ran over them actually biting back a yelp when one stinging needle of spray hit dead on. What does this have to do with cold? Well... use your imagination. Cold plus chaffing is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I haven't felt this aware of my nipples since an enthusiastic boyfriend when I was 17.
The cold brings with it lots of good things though. A gorgeous flush on my cheeks that I've tried replicating before with "product" and never attained... perfect hair thanks to the loss of humidity... the opportunity to wear stockings and my favourite shoes and boots... and the appreciation of clear sunlight while the air is bitingly cold. LH and I meet for lunch regularly, crossing off one hole-in-the-wall thai or indian restaurant after another, or occasionally (and my favourite) stealing away for an hour in the park lying in the sunshine eating sandwiches with my head in his lap and dreaming of holidays we will take and houses we will build and trees we will own sometime in the future.
As I walked to meet him yesterday, rugged up against the cold (Qld style), I walked out from the shade of one of the tall buildings lining the street and felt warmth nuzzle the back of my neck. The sensation was so delicious I couldn't help but tilt my head slightly, allowing the sun to lick my neck along sensitive pulse points. The sheer eroticism of the sensation sent a shiver through me and a sparkle to my eye and step as I met LH on a crowded street corner.
This is what Autumn is to me, fire and ice, awakening and crackling like a snapping bonfire on a freezing night. My brain literally cranks up a gear, neurons firing as they awaken from their summer somnolence, making connections that I never saw before and convincing me of my egotistical ability to achieve Great Things. I love my children with childlike exuberance and start to let go from rigid parenting hierarchies. I love food and cooking and the smells of baking desserts and cinnamon spiced muffins and rich sauced meats bubbling and spitting on the stove. I love creating and knitting and sewing. I love my husband with that adolescent intensity that makes me want to excite and exhaust him. I love my friends and want to do things with them - laugh and eat and drink and loiter around parks as our children dance like the possessed.
Basically, for all the seasons that I love, Autumn is my favourite, because every year, it is the season that I become alive.