The Red Sox wore red caps and helmets for Saturday’s Game Three of the World Series. Sunday they switched to blue. Most Midwesterners have switched the AC off and the heat on. All of the harbor masters along the Alton Pool have warned their members that the water and pump out facilities will be switched off within the week as temperatures are bound to fall below freezing at night. The sun that recently glared mercilessly to further overheat the hemisphere now rides the horizon at hip-height, its rays lazily grazing the cooling waterways. It sleeps late and retires early allowing the supercilious river waters to brusquely deflect its tepid brassy rays. Red to blue, warm to chill, on again, off again. Must be the season of the switch.
Fall foliage is a clever disguise for a certain arrogance that permeates fall. When it comes to high honors for best-dressed landscapes, New England wins. Nature flips a switch around the Equinox and the green fields and mountains ignite with a Red Carpet display of organic haute couture. Northeastern foliage screams, “Envy my brilliance – it’s all about me, me, me!” Inflamed crimson leaves glow with golden auras. Brazen mums dominate gardens and resonate with pride. Swirling clouds of leaves slap away at summer highs and signal the all clear for in bound winter lows. Foliage, like guild actors, eventually lie quiet and forgotten as the season passes and they muster patience to endure until next year’s season premier.
October is far less dramatic and a more humble of a season here in St. Louis. Rusty pin oaks dominate the sights beyond many windows. Locals are satisfied when the grass fades beneath a loose shawl of dull brown leaves. Pumpkins brighten lawns and dark pots of chili satisfy cool weather appetites. A sea of red floods Busch stadium. This is the season to awake in darkness, switch the alarm clocks off and the lights on to greet the day. It’s strange.
Thousands upon thousands of men, women and children in and around St. Louis adapt to the season by piling on more stitches of clothing to ward off the chill. Short shorts are switched out for tight jeans. Tank tops are flipped for layers of thermo-dynamic, sweat sucking – heat preserving attire. Body heat is amped up by joining a cacophony of revelers bedecked in scarlet, gold, and navy outerwear highlighted with ornamental birds, wild prey, and beasts burden. We’re swapping the last thrills of Cardinals baseball and kids’ soccer for Mizzou and Rams football. Everyone is soaring from hot to cold, dockside to fireside, and outdoors to indoors. It’s a switch.
Pack up the flip flops – break out shoes and socks. Pull out and hunker down with those books you meant to read last summer. Chill. All of the year’s long sunny days have been redeemed for languorous evenings to savor HD TV shows recorded for “the time when we’ll have time.” Crock pots fill as grills chill. Slow food beckons us to while away time savoring a good meal shared well. The Cards are still wearing their red caps for tonight’s game. I don’t know about the Sox. Must be the season of the switch.