Charleston in the summer can be pretty brutal. The humidity in the air gets so thick you can literally see it in a haze around the moon. Temperatures rise into the high 90s and stay there for weeks. Months. At least we have the beach! we say. When friends from outside the South come to visit and marvel at the oppressiveness of our summers, the way the water in the air seems to cling to every cell of exposed skin, the impossibility that it’s not somehow literally steaming what with the wet and the heat. Oh but you should be here in October, we say. October is the best month of the year.
Last weekend it was 88 degrees and we were out at Folly Beach. But October was coming, sneaking up as leaves began to fall in fits and starts, one at a time from the trees. My dog Bessie snatches this falling foliage like it’s a snack, dropping like manna from heaven, but she also enjoys eating grass and vegetation of all kinds, so shes’s a weirdo. October was coming.
And indeed it did. On the verrrrry last day of September, the temperature suddenly cooled off, to the point that I had to break out a cardigan to wear on my commute. Right on schedule, October has arrived. And it is glorious. I feel like a Romantic poet all stirred and uplifted by the beauty of my environment. If I weren’t such an awful poet (truly), I’d be composing sonnets on what happens as September sets and October rises like a harvest moon. Instead I’m daydreaming about bike rides that don’t end with me flopped in a sweaty heap under the living room AC vent, the dogs licking the salt off my skin as I swat them away, laughing at their tickling tongues. I’m thinking about oyster roasts, as they say the season is finally back in full swing. I’m itching to go camping, maybe on the beach, maybe up in the mountains where we might actually see some fall color. I’m wondering when is too soon to bring the boxes of sweaters down from the attic, afraid of a last gasp of summer that might try to hang on, and keep me in sundresses and flip flops. I’m eagerly anticipating what fall goodies will be showing up in our CSA box, though slightly worried it might be an endless stream of mustard greens and beets. I’m watching for my tan, accumulated over beach weekends since April, to start to fade. I’m looking forward to October.
Ohhhh, October is here.