It feels like fall today. The heat wave broke and lying underneath it in wait was autumn. Now I’m blinking and looking around town wondering how I overlooked it this long. Tomato trucks are bouncing along the highway; the whole town smells like ketchup. The kids are back in school, and back in the Starbucks down the road at 3 p.m. everyday in a big pack. You can smell it in the morning, that crisp edge of change.
Fall is short here. It’s more of a transition than a season. This is my favorite time of year. Fresh corn and tomatoes in the market, and apples and pumpkins right around the corner. Pumpkins. Even saying the word makes me happy. My cookbook is poised and ready for them. Halloween and harvests and hay rides. Sweaters in the morning. I put on a sweater today. I knit and crochet 12 months a year and I always have a cup of tea in the afternoon regardless of the temperature, but these small pleasures are in season when the autumn afternoon light is streaming in through the windows along with the sound of dried sycamore leaves blowing up the street.
The calendar says fall runs from September 22nd to December 21st. That’s about the best part of the year. That catches all of what feels like fall around here and the first part of winter. Much past New Year’s Day, I’m done with winter. Done with muddy shoes and rainy days, bundling up my little one against the cold. Then I start to long for the sun again. But I’ll soak up every minute of fall.
I’m ready for the smell of candles inside fresh-carved jack-o-lanterns, toasted pumpkin seeds (and pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin juice and fat wedges of pumpkins seasoned and right off the barbeque), corn field mazes, ghost stories, apple cider, scarves, blustery days and crisp nights where the wind whistles around the eaves of the house.
Bring it on.
Recommended reading for fall:
- A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman
A free audiobook read by the author of a short story with a distinctly familiar feel. A collision of worlds for your collision of seasons. It amused me. Try it on and see how it fits.
- Geography III by Elizabeth Bishop
Something about fall makes me crave poetry in a real serious way. You’d think spring, wouldn’t you? I guess it depends on your poet.
- Farmer John’s Favorite Pumpkin Bread
Trust me; go with the walnuts.