It was the kind of October day for which residents of New Orleans endure the summers, sparkling blue-gold with just a touch of crispness…
—Poppy Z. Brite, Liquor (2004)
Brite could have been writing about Jackson, Mississippi, in February.
While those north of the Mason-Dixon line are swaddled in overcoats and scarves until April, I’m out walking the neighborhood in a t-shirt and jeans, taking photographs (like the one above) of clear skies, blooming flowers, and sunlight. Every time I imagine myself in Chicago or New York or Seattle, I think about what winter is like in those cities and chuckle.
Yes, you can laugh at me in mid-July, when I’m cursing the 95-degree heat by 9 a.m., and sweating through my light cotton shirts. For now, though, I’m reveling in the walk I just finished, during which I saw Mexican teens playing soccer, homeowners out raking leaves, and green-draped trees everywhere. I’m making tea and preparing to finish reading a book… on my balcony.