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Finally, I’ve gotten to my favorite time of year, time for the gentle Autumn sun! The scorching Summer heat has finally abated and I can do all my outdoor chores without concern as to the temperature, how sunburnt I might get, or if I’ll get heat stroke doing it all! This is the first week we’ve cooled down into the 80’s F, which is idyllic here in the desert Southwest! Nights have been cooler for a month or so now, but the days were still creeping into the mid to high-90’s, even hitting 100, which meant it still felt pretty hot by midday! But, now it’s the ideal time of year here, in my opinion. With cool nights and pleasant days, it’s possible to open the windows, to shut off the air conditioner, and to enjoy outdoor hours without concern!  

This morning, I spent a few hours raking up leaves and assorted messes around the yard. I filled three big tubs of debris and watered some plants without even working up a sweat! It was a sweet reward for all the days during Summer, when faced with night-time lows in the high 90’s and days well over 115! On those kinds of days, the sun races to beat everyone in getting up, heating up all the surfaces and even the water in the taps and garden hoses to scalding temperatures! And all those tremendously heated surfaces usually retain that heat even well after the sun finally sets at night. The air conditioner runs almost constantly, frantically trying to keep my home at a livable temperature of 79 degrees, while fans assist in keeping us content. The pool water can even become more like a warm, unrefreshing bath after many consecutive days of truly dangerous heat!

Each year when Autumn finally sets in, usually well beyond the calendar’s mid-September date earmarked for it, is a reason to have a celebration as a gardener and outdoorsy person! The unrelenting heat of Summer keeps me indoors or in the pool if I’m outside. But when temperatures finally become not only tolerable but enjoyable, it’s time to go out and catch up on all the chores long waiting for my attention! I can busy myself each new day with watering, clean-up, pruning, and my favorite pursuit, planting! I adore working in my garden, honing my landscape into something of beauty, which is truly hard to do when I am limited by the intense Summer weather. Unlike places which endure the dormancy of cold and snowy Winters, here in the desert, we endure a long, hot, dry Summer season. That is our period of doing less or just the bare minimum, while our plants, gardens, and landscapes struggle to survive until a softer, gentler season ahead. And finally, Autumn arrives on some random day like today!   

This morning, I opened the windows and left them open until noon! The only reason I closed them at all, I was heading out for the afternoon. I wouldn’t dare think of going for a swim now, the pool is far too cold for comfort. But that is a trade-off I am willing to make for weather which is finally comfortable! I hate to feel as though I’m wishing for days to pass quickly, but each Summer here in the desert stretches on for usually four or five months. By the end of that period, I look so eagerly towards the sweet return of Autumn’s gentleness, just what we’re finally now having! I don’t resent Summer, but I do consider it a necessary part of what must happen here so that we might finally be rewarded with this! I’m so thankful for what is ahead in the next weeks and months, days spent doing so many of my favorite things under the warmth of a gentle Autumn sun! I’ll surely take my time enjoying all the moments ahead outdoors and in, savoring the sweetness of a softer sun and an easier time of things!