It’s late September, the season of equinoctial change and harvest moons, and we would like to remind the weather gods that this is supposed to mean something. It is not supposed to portend more and more days of July-like heat, but cooler temperatures, crisper air and a hint of color in the leaves — in short, autumn. As U.S. President George W. Bush likes to say in other, grimmer contexts: Bring it on!
Around the nation, people are refusing to believe that fall will ever arrive. And why should they? This has been an unusually trying summer, with several weather records broken in the capital — for the single hottest day and for most days above 30 degrees, among others. Tokyo’s misery was echoed in other parts of the country as well, particularly in the heat-trapping, heat-generating cities. Last week, it seemed autumn might be planning to boycott Japan entirely this year, letting summer segue straight into winter. As seasons go, this one has been a meteorological Sargasso Sea.
But having sweltered our way through June, July and August — we won’t say uncomplainingly, but certainly heroically — we believe the residents of this over-cooked archipelago deserve a break. It’s time to say goodbye to that hot fellow, the sun, and welcome the season of the moon, an altogether cooler beauty.
For the benefit of those weather deities and their sluggish scene-shifters, here are the basic requirements: No high temperatures over 25. No more typhoons. Dry, bracing air. A slight chill mornings and evenings, just enough to make one reach for a jacket. A subtle change in the quality of the light: less brassy and more golden. The odd yellow leaf fluttering down. Grasses growing high. And a few red dragonflies would be nice.
That’s it! Not so difficult. But as the end of September approaches and the props of summer remain in place, it looks as if someone up there definitely needs reminding.
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