Fall came too early this year. I was dreading it because I dread winter. With the end of summer curtained by perpetual downpours and clouded skies, fall snuck in and the sun seems so shamed by this coup that it refuses to appear at all. It's wet and dark, day after day, and I feel, honestly, a little angry about it - if I wanted this weather, would I be living in Virginia? It seems you should get what you pay for. But a couple weeks ago, there was a short chain of delicate, early-fall days that acted like propaganda, enticing us to submit without fear. Driving with a friend, I saw strokes of color on the trees, colored leaves lying on the ground, falling to the ground. The air turned dry, and the sunlight's new angles took on that hammered-gold warmth signalling the equinox. One day, on my way to work, a crimson leaf with dark edges, doubled back on itself, wafted across my windshield. It was actually a butterfly.