Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fall ...

Yesterday, though it was warm, I was thinking about the arrival of fall.

October is here. Somehow. Already.

And I thought that surely I'd written before about why I love fall. Because I really love fall. As much as I don't like summer? That's how much I like fall.

So I searched my archives and ran across this, written nearly five years ago:

Why is it that I love fall?

Sure, it's pretty. Crunching through the leaves. Pumpkins. As I wrote to a friend the other day, "The color of the changing leaves changes the quality of the light."

But as I walked on this cold, grey day, noticing the trees that are almost completely bare, I began to wonder if I'm fond of fall because it is the season that forces us back indoors. The weather changes, the days grow shorter, sociability wanes.

Do I like fall because it's aligned with my private nature? Wouldn't the reclusive nature of winter suit me even better then?

There are parts of winter that I relish: Sunny snowy mornings, bundled up and braced for the cold as I step outside to shovel the snow that sparkles. Hollywood snow, I call it. Fluffy, like shoveling cotton, light glinting off its surface like snowglobe glitter. Early in the morning, it is quiet and it is Zen, the repetitive swipes of my shovel sweeping arcs of snow side to side.

But other parts of winter sadden me: Darkness at 4 in the afternoon, malformed piles of dirty snow, barren trees, dead grass.

I've long thought that the earth should be divided into quadrants where each season exists perpetually. Feeling like a little fall? Go to the fall quadrant. In the mood to hit the slopes? The winter quadrant awaits. The summer quadrant would be full of beaches and concerts in parks. And it would always be springtime in Paris.

But for now it is fall. The leaves are down, the wind is up. Winter is on its way.


Yup, that's why I love fall.

And I'd love it more if it lasted longer. It is dishearteningly swift, fall. The trees take forever to begin to turn, and then, in just a few weeks, the show is over. The leaves left on trees begin to wither. The color drains out of the leaves on the ground and they shrivel, curl into themselves, and blow away.

And what remains, for so many Midwestern months, is bleak.

Still, I welcome it. For even once the trees are bare and the cold sets in, I relish the aspects the seasons bring, those moments of feeling chilled and pulling on a favorite sweater and wrapping it around you and the comfort of the onset of warmth.

And the glow of a Christmas tree. I love the glow of a tree, especially at night.

But I've gotten ahead of myself. October has just arrived. There is cider to drink. There are leaves to rake. It is the season of caramel apples and bowls full of stew. And simmering soups. And pumpkin pies. And bread.

I once wrote in a post that in my home, it is always fall. I do not change my house with the seasons. I do not slipcover for summer and change out rugs. I chose this palette because I love it. I am not about cool hues.

And for a month or so, the world outside my windows plays along. Today, it is mostly green with bits of yellow beginning to show. But soon, golden yellows will arrive. And oranges and reds and rusts.

Come by for lunch. We can hold warm bowls in our hands and sit on the front stoop and watch the falling leaves.

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