Fall growth

With the typhoon, everything swings about. Trees sway, leaves begin to age, droop, and fall. Seasons happen suddenly, and the heat is gone. Wind whistles through windows that have been open for months with barely a murmur.

Shanghai, though not on the sea, is of it. Buffeted by storms brewed far south and carried by currents to sweep clean the stick of summer, the city sheds the lingering stench of sweating millions. Change, like the weather, happens overnight.

Leg warmers overtake the thin netting of summer nylons, and Shanghai’s population remembers garments lost for months amid closets unopened. Coats, scarves, hats that will all become mandatory within months are suddenly fashion, perched rakishly atop cycling heads.

I spend days out of doors, never alone in the celebration. Fall, unlike Spring, is the temporary, a celebration of what is to go, rather than to come. A friend’s mantra from months back suddenly becomes a daily belief, suddenly supports a never-ending grin.

“Get it while you’ve got it.”

With a gentle step and a certain pause for admiration Shanghai does, and we do.