Today is Sept. 22 in the year of our Lord 2017.
According to the calendar, it is the first day of autumn.
Which means, according to popular imagination, golden-brown leaves falling from trees; crisp, cool air; everyone in sweaters or jackets; and the anticipation of Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Except in Austin.
Austin does not have autumn. At all.
For those of us who are born on the East Coast, it is by far the very worst thing about the River City.
At 10 a.m. this morning, it was about 80 degrees and humid. This is not fall weather. This is May or June weather. This is not acceptable. And it is mighty depressing.
To be fair, Austin does have something like autumn. Austin experiences about two weeks of traditional fall weather.
Said weather just occurs over 14 or so nonconsecutive days spread out over about four months from November through February.
This is not really autumn. It is an evil tease of autumn.
It is just enough to make you sad that you don't have more of it.
Of the many things I love about Judaism (I don’t practice myself -- I have family members who do, and I remain a big fan), the fact that the Jewish New Year is around the time autumn starts is way up there.
Because let's face it: Jan. 1 or no, for the first 18 years of our lives, the new year begins when we go back to school. That is when the cycle starts all over again -- not January.
And then there is the clothing we have in our closets and never get to wear.
Ask anyone male or female, fat or thin, tall or short, of any ethnicity: Human beings look good in jackets.
Do we get to wear them here? We do not.
Biker jackets, sport coats, windbreakers, anoraks, bombers -- the jacket is dope. See also Star Wars. (I would put No. 2 at No.1 here, but I understand where they are coming from.)
I personally favor a denim jacket I have had for a whole bunch of years, or one of those gas station-style jackets that were big in punk rock circles maybe 20-25 years ago.
Indeed, I remember one December evening I was walking down Red River to go to Beerland.
A kid looked at me from the door of a club that will remain unnamed. I was in a watch cap, scarf, jeans and gas station jacket. Dude gave me the once-over and said, with as much disdain in his voice as he could muster, "Man, the ‘90s are over.” Well, not on my back, kid.
I am pretty sure that was the only time that year it was cool enough to wear that jacket.
All of which is to say, it is wonderful on some level to have weather in the 70s in winter. It is cold and wet and snowing in much of the United States from December to February, and we are possibly wearing shorts.
But we do miss out on other things.
It is the first day of autumn. But not here. Not really.