This—any day like this—is why she adores every transference of the seasons. She doesn’t have a favorite. She loves each one for its unique nature. But she also loves when the qualities of one season infiltrate another.
Today is such a day. It is mid November, the unchallenged domain of autumn, but it feels more like the beginning of summer. The sun is bright, and the sky is clear of clouds. The air is warm—without a hint of chill upon it. The only convincing pieces of evidence identifying the season are the leaves in the midst of their autumnal change.
These are the days she most loves riding her bike. It is rewarding and energizing with each push of the pedal. She cannot help but smile. And everyone she encounters enjoying the day only increases her delight.
Stopped at a red light, she finds herself at rest next to a man also on his bicycle. Sensing a kindred spirit, she turns her smile toward him. She expects a smile in return but gets nothing. He just stares at her—through her—past her. She is perplexed. She assumed they’d exchange a knowing nod and smile—share some gesture or words to acknowledge how fortunate they are to be cycling on such a day as this.
How could he not smile? Was he unaware of the sun’s warmth or shine? Was he not grateful to be riding unencumbered by the extra layers an autumn bike ride often requires? Was he not overwhelmed by the beauty of this day? Perhaps he meant to smile—wanted to smile—but suffered from a broken face. And so, in attempting to smile, it produced a frown instead.
A few pushes of the pedal later, and she’s put his dour countenance behind her. She expected but didn’t need his acknowledgment to maintain her enjoyment of this day. She would continue to smile for herself. She would continue to be grateful for this gift of autumn. She would savor the sensation of the sun and relish every degree of warmth it offered.