Autumn falls sudden and hard in these islands. One day we are basking in summers warm embrace, the next choking on the fumes of southerly forest blazes, and finally shivering late at night from falls ever advancing creep. Today snow was forecast in the mountain passes, meaning soon Constitution will receive her first powdering, and close following mine own haven in the depth of evergreen acreage.
Seasons really do not touch our community that much, we adapt, we cope, change our coats from linen and cotton to wool, tires from radials to crosscut studs, shoes from cute sandals or pumps to boots and galoshes. The first cup of pumpkin spice coffee, first slice of pumpkin pie are greeted happily, welcomed as long-lost friends, precious and missed for an entire twelve moons.
We casually talk of Orcas time, as if out time zone is somehow different from the far distant mainland, all of thirty or so miles away. Somethings we are proud to boast do not affect our home, some evils are alien and unknown in our back yard. We treat our rock as a fortress against all manner of unpleasantry, crime, unkindness, vandalism, prejudice of any kind, just any downright antisocial behavior.
When asked if resident or visitor we tend to be shocked, dismayed, as if the title Orcas islander should be burned into out foreheads like some brand of olden times. Common pride is what we share, or so do claim, self-esteem at belonging somewhere memorable, being noticeably different, more, if not unique most certainly seeming chosen, allowed to be a part of something larger that ourselves, a member of a community of the fortunate.
Surprisingly, we are all strangers, perhaps not now, perhaps not the past few generations, but in terms of longevity of belonging we all are still tourists yet. No strange considering we abide in a land of newcomers, many but century or two, a few some millennium past, but in the broader scope of time all still very fresh and young.
We welcome Autumn presently, but cosmically are but barely commencing spring.