Keep Passing the Open Windows! (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)

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Autumn's imminent
Although today, August 7, is expected to be the hottest day of the year (between 3 and 4pm the temperature will rise to +33С), by the end of the week the temp will drop to +22C (+11C at night) and the rains will start pouring down.

However, it is not the temp that heralds the autumn. It is 1.40am, and the window to my bedroom is wide open (I am not using air conditioning). I feel that the light breeze carries the smell of fading leaves and bushes, of dampness. The sky is moon lit, yet it is not as bright as it was in May and June. The stars are not seen at all. In a distance a dog is barking, being walked by her master who, probably, works late.

The trains of the Belorussian Rail Road parked for the night are all covered in dew. The smell of coal is felt in the air when brought by a gust of wind.

The women who start working early and rush to the offices at 7 - 7.30am, are shrouded in warm shawls or wear pullovers and sweaters. From 6 to 7am is the coldest time of any day. The men wear suits.

Fewer people are spotted in the park going skating, skate-boarding and biking. At times the park seems completely deserted and desolate.

Beginning August the 1st the shops are selling autumn jackets, coats, rain coats etc. The swim suits and light wind jackets are stored until the next spring when the demand for them will resume.

More and more children are in the playground, on the sport facilities and everywhere in the city. Although it is too early, it is evident that they've already been to warmer spots and now are preparing to the new school season. It commences on September 1.

I always wonder how every year outgoing winter struggles with incoming spring. In Moscow the real spring begins only in mid-April. March has been long regarded as a winter month. At the same time, when I am watching the summer succumb to autumn so mildly, I am thinking that, probably, something is a bit dishonest even in nature. Or so is our local climate.

It is 2.10am in the morning now. All I hear is cars passing along the Third Circle. The windows are dark as people already enjoy sleep.



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