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As if embarrassed by arriving far earlier than agreed, autumn sidles into my city with a sideways glance.

It’s easy to ignore leaves yellowing in January, preoccupied as we are by afternoon thunder showers and warm, bright evenings, lengthy meals outdoors and as-little-clothing-as-decent.

And then, just like that, denial doesn’t work anymore because the light is golden before I leave work and there are drifts of leaves on the side of every street.

I sleep more comfortably under my duvet.

For a few weeks, the city is warmer somehow, shaded with rust and deep reds and a spectrum of citrus tones, distracting us from the freshened mornings and the drying gardens and the light that is slipping away.