There is a different light in Paris when summer turns to Autumn. Today is officially the first day of Autumn but, unofficially, it arrived last Saturday. From a week of hot days, sun dresses and sandals, we got rain and grey. Some say that grey is the official color of Paris.
Out my window, I see people walking with sweaters and coats. Most importantly, the scarf is back. It’s too hot to wear a scarf in summer. Now we can pull all our wonderful scarves out of drawers and closets and put them in whatever familiar place they reside in homes. Mine is on my coat rack at the entrance to my apartment. I never wore a scarf before I came to Paris. Well, maybe in the dead of winter if I was really, really cold and had handy a warm woolen scarf. But not the signature French piece of clothing. True Parisians don’t wear a lot of color: black, grey, navy blue, sometimes brown. Then they add the scarf. Something thoughtfully chosen, that has a lot of color and distinguishes one person from the next.
The sun is out today but looks washed out. It has lost its summer intensity. Often I can tell the temperature by just looking at the sun on the water, in the sky. Not today. I just checked the temperature on my iPhone and I wasn’t far off. It’s a nice day, good for walking. It’s Fall. It’s dark when I get up at 7:30am and it’s almost dark when I’m walking home at 7:30 at night. I’ve always loved Autumn but losing the light really makes me sad. I love Paris in the summer with its endlessly long days, hot weather and slow pace of life.
La rentrée, when children go back to school, families return from vacation and work starts up again in Paris, is coming to an end. No more holidays until the school holiday in mid-October. In the US, we have Halloween to look forward to. And believe it or not, the Parisians, especially the younger Parisians, love Halloween. I don’t see many pumpkins but there are lots of parties and dress-up and fun that last through the night.
And so the days move on. It is still Paris!