I'm at the conclusion of my first week back at substitute teaching, in Austin this semester instead of Dripping Springs. Today was an early release day in preparation for hurricane Ike, which we are not likely to feel much effect from in the way of weather here in Austin, but we are expected to receive quite a few evacuees here, so the schools let out early to help with the expected traffic.
The rest of the afternoon became a little solo celebration to cap off the week with a walk in the near 100 degree heat and then a nice spontaneous nap on the floor after sit-ups. I made some kimbap (California rolls) for dinner and then settled down into a comfy spot on the bed to finish up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a book about living almost totally off of local, homegrown foods. The end of the book documents winter, eating primarily what they have put away at the end of summer. Inside, with the air on, I almost had the feeling that it was winter here too, but then Mimi came back to her bedroom and turns on the TV. I'm generally not in the mood to tolerate much TV noise, especially at the level that she broadcasts it, so I moved myself and my book to the front porch, where the weather was still very warm, even mid September, anticipating sunset. So I was brought back to the reality of Texas summer, the summer that won't give way to the season other people in the world know as fall.
I've cultivated a longing for fall more in the past few years of living in a place with four seasons. Reading Animal, Vegetable, Mineral has reminded me of how it's nice to live more in accordance with the seasons. I had very little appreciation for seasonal fruits and vegetables until I lived in a place on the other side of the world where I learned to shop according to what's most bountiful and colorful at the market.
Tonight on the front porch, the cicadas were buzzing loudly, reminding me of one or two of the middle school boys I've been teaching this week who have some sort of primal need to make noise just for the sake of seeing who will respond to it. The sky began to noticably glow almost suddenly and I felt encased in the end of summer bliss, deciding that is the best of what Texas has to offer at this point in the season and enjoying it is good.