Autumn (or fall, as it’s commonly referred to here in the States) is my favorite time of year. I am not alone. Many people have commented that the start of the school year, rather than the start of a new year, feels more like a beginning to them, like a fresh start, than the first day of a new year. I suppose this is true for me too. I can remember shopping for new school clothes and supplies when I was young, the feeling of going back to school and meeting up with friends I hadn’t seen in a couple of months, and settling into a new routine.
Now that I’m no longer in school, I don’t have the school things to look forward to. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to look forward to. I look forward to buying new planner inserts and setting them up—the cool, clean, crisp pages are a sign of things to come; they hold the promise of great adventures yet to be experienced; my days are blank, just waiting to be written to my own personal history.
I also look forward to the “fall” things that fall brings:
· I love waking up to a chilly morning, of putting on my big chunky wool sweater and fuzzy slippers, of shuffling to the coffee pot where a steaming cuppa waits for me.
· I love heading out the door for a run, my breath visible with every puff, my nose and lungs burning with the cold air.
· I love going to Starbucks, ordering a grande non-fat, no-whip Pumpkin Spice latte, wrapping my cold hands around the hot paper cup and breathing in the cinnamon.
· I love the puffy clouds that hold the threat/promise of snow to come.
· I love apple cider and cider donuts and picking apples and pumpkins.
· I love making an apple crisp with those apples.
· I love heating the apple cider to a warm and toasty seasonal alternative to tea and coffee.
· I love evening fires in the fireplace, sitting on the couch with my husband and kitty.
· I love curling up in bed with a good book when the wind is whipping outside.
· I love the color and crunch of fall leaves.
· I love rainy fall days, wet leaves sticking to the ground and your car windshield.
· I love my favorite CD which always reminds me of fall, regardless of when I listen to it (probably because I bought it in the fall several years ago).
· I love taking an afternoon nap while listening to that CD, all snuggly warm under my nap blanket (yes, there is a special nap blanket).
· I love the aroma of a fall dinner cooking in the crock pot.
· I love the announcers’ voices during said football games, especially that of John Madden, retired announcer, coach, and player, whose voice reminds me of football games from my childhood and of my father who spent every fall Sunday watching those games.
· I love watching my movies: You’ve Got Mail, and looking forward to seeing Love Actually and White Christmas come the holiday season.
· I love eating comforting soup, especially the oh-so-bad-for-you Ramen Noodles.
· I love wearing skirts with a warm sweater and knee-high boots, just as I love wearing my jeans with a warm sweater and sneakers.
· I love my thick, wool socks.
Some people think of fall as being a depressing time of year—saying goodbye to summer, to carefree days, and moving towards darkness and the cold. But I don’t see it that way. I think of fall as nature’s last hurrah—a dance of blazing color—before going to sleep for a few months, only to reemerge and awaken again in the spring.
I don’t remember loving fall this much as a kid, but I do remember the first time fall left a strong impression on me. I visited New Hampshire with my best friend who had family there at the time. If you’ve never been to New Hampshire in the fall, it is simply gorgeous. I don’t specifically remember what we did that weekend. However, I do remember walking through an apple orchard, breathing in the cool, crisp, apple-scented air and wishing to never leave. I think it was at that moment I decided that I wanted to live the life of an L.L.Bean catalog, complete with a house on a lake, a black or yellow lab lounging on his comfy bed in front of a roaring fire, and a kayak resting on the back porch. Silly, maybe, but it’s the only official dream I have ever had. I’m still not quite there, but I’m working on it, if only a little at a time.
Since fall only lasts a few months, I must enjoy every minute of it. This is especially true this year since last year I was battling infection after infection due to bad allergies and the anxietyand bought of depression that followed. I let last fall slip by without really enjoying the fall things that make me so happy.
This year I am happy to say that I am determined not to let anything get in the way of my love for fall. It will be over before I know it, and I must focus on being in the now, of enjoyingthe little things, of loving what’s in front of me, though my love for fall is now and forever.