I haven’t felt fall yet. Have you?

Some years in late August or early September, even when the afternoon sun radiates your body to a full-on fever after 5 minutes outside, I’ve felt fall in the wind in the morning or late evenings from the porch.

Autumn landscape in Rybiniszki, Latvia, watercolor by Stanisław Masłowski, 1902 (National Museum in Warsaw, Poland)

I would even admit to you that I’ve heard fall in the wind, but you might judge me fit for a trip to Terrell if I told you that.

So far though, where I am in Central Texas, there’s no sign of it yet.

Waiting for it reminds me of an old man on the bench of a railroad depot platform waiting for the train.

Will it blow in full steam with a blast of air in your face as it goes by? Will it creep through on a long approach? The kind of slow movement that makes you anxious the closer it gets? With trains, you see the headlamp long before you meet the train. Sometimes it’s 6 miles away.

I don’t know that fall has anything to do with trains. But the cool air, once it comes, reminds me of the belching smoke and steam from antique engines and old men who sit and think as they wait on the bench.

Leon Hale used to write about fall in his Houston Chronicle and Houston Post days, so this dispatch isn’t exactly original.

You’ve probably waited for it like I have. I know Hale has. He still does. He’s waited on 97 falls so far.

That means those of us who do anticipate it are quite a crowd, despite that lonesome hollow feeling that precedes it and sometimes stays long after its arrival.

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