Somehow, the seasons are changing; right under my nose, it seems. When we got here in late August, it was hotter ‘n’ blazes – you kind of felt scorched if you stayed out in the sun too long. All of a sudden though, it’s switched to autumn. Right now, I’m sitting in my room, listening to that particularly soothing sound of rain falling all around the building and to the somewhat testy sound of the wind rushing around the roof and across the windows. It’s a good time to be inside, to feel cozy, to smell whatever it is that Señora Maria is cooking in the kitchen.
Earlier this afternoon I went for a walk through El Retiro. Before, the park was filled with the vibrant green of summer, the busy noise of hundreds of people enjoying days of leisure in the delicious shade of trees nodding gently in the breeze. Now, there are still a lot of people, but not as many, and those that are there tend to seek out the sunnier spots and shun those cooler areas most frequented during the warmer months. Many of the trees maintain their differing shades of green still, but the tints of summer are slowly fading into more muted tones of brown, occasionally brightened by a splash of orange or brilliant yellow. The leaves are beginning to float to the sidewalk, covering the ground in a crisp mantle that crunches with every step. Before, the sky was a clear blue, highlighted by brightness of the sun. Now, the sky is darker, slightly ominous in keeping with the slight bite of the air, and looking up from the pathway, the treetops tower against a ponderous background of steely grey clouds. It’s really quite beautiful; very different, but beautiful in that very difference I guess.
So now, Madrid is settling softly down through the cushions of autumn to the cold of winter. I know that when winter comes, it too will be beautiful in its own singular way, but right now, I want to enjoy a little the passing period of fall. I want to enjoy the colors, the crisp air, the chill without the cold. I want to take time to watch the clouds scud across the skies, to watch the leaves flutter to the ground. I want to enjoy Madrid as it is right now, a metropolis in transition, full of the essence of fall.