Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Changing seasons

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday morning when I went out for my morning run it was darker outside. The sky was a dark blue and the only thing darker were the shadows of the trees on the beige gravel paths of the Champ de Mars. The Eiffel Tower appeared a dark brown instead of its usual greyish tan color. The only lights were the red ones at the top and the elevators that were slowly going up and down.

As I ran around the first time, the sun turned the sky a lighter shade of blue and cast a rosy color onto the clouds in the distance. I could barely make out the shapes of the runners bobbing in front of me along the wide path.

When I ran the second time around the Champ de Mars past the Ecole Militaire, the orange streetlights suddenly turned off, which allowed me to notice the golden dome of the Invalides shining in the distance, like a beacon. The statue of the man on the horse near the Ecole Militaire appeared as a black outline against the sky.

Later, I walked to the métro at the Invalides to get to work. I crossed the street to feel the sun on my face, which was just above the tall apartment buildings. The skies were clear so the air was crisper than a few days before. Luckliy, I realized this before I left my apartent so that I could put on an extra sweater. I wasn't prepared for the cooler temperatures before arriving in Paris.

When I arrive at the métro stop, the young man who hands out the Direct Matin free newspaper was standing there handing out the newspapers to people arriving and leaving the métro stop. He put a newspaper out in front of me, but I refuse. “Non, merci,” I said and then added, “Bonne journée (Have a nice day).” I see him almost every morning when I arrive before 9am. He is usually the first person I see with a smile on his face.

Once I get past the entrance to the métro and walk down the long fluorescent-lit hallways with large posters on both sides, publicizing new films, the heat intensifies. I unbuttoned my jacket and unraveled my scarf so I can absorb some of the heat before I exit later. Once I stand up in the train before getting off, I button myself back up and prepare for the cool wind that will welcome me as I walk up the escalator.

It is not a complete surprise that the weather has changed this week. I should’ve expected it a bit more; however, I was enjoying warm weather in Florence just one week before. I embrace the change of seasons. Autumn is actually one of my favorite seasons because it’s a time when I let go of the frivolity of the summer and enter a more productive time. It’s not that I won’t have fun now in the fall, but I will be more balanced.

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