“No subject is too specialized or too quirky if you make an honest connection with it when you write about it.” ~ William Zinsser
Anyone who knows me even a little, knows that I have an obsessive love of all things
autumn. I’m not alone. There is an entire marketing industry whose entire purpose is to
grab the attention of individuals like me, ones similarly obsessed. While countless others
may appreciate all of the things that make fall fabulous, I think it’s safe to say, I take it to
the next level.
A friend told me, just yesterday, that fall reminds her of me. That may be one of my
new, favorite compliments.
I’ve wondered when, where, why and how my seasonal obsession took root. It must go
back to childhood, as most things do. I was raised in the Midwest. Growing up, there were
four, very distinct seasons. My hometown was an old, craggy, very small sort of place; but
hardwood trees were and still are in abundance. Come October, small and craggy fell away
and all that I noticed were the Maple, Oak, Walnut and Elm trees. Their perfectly
choreographed, autumn coming out party was a colorful wonder to behold. Yellow, red,
orange, occasionally shades of purple and the combinations of all the above provided me
a visual smorgasbord, and boy did my eyes feast.
Fall’s magic was not just for my eyes, it exploited all of my senses. There was the crisp,
rosy cheek inducing temperature drop, the smell of burning leaves, wood stoves, and every
lovely spice one could imagine, not to mention the mouth watering delights that only
appeared on my table in October and November. Last but not least, there were the sounds
of the season. My house was mere blocks from the local middle school and football field.
Every Friday night, I could hear the marching band play during the game’s halftime.
Occasionally, you could hear a bit of cheering if the Redskins were scoring or playing
particularly well. Other sounds were the crunching of leaves on the sidewalks as I’d walk
to school, and the scraping, swishing noise made by the rake as it would gather leaves into
piles. But best of all were the squeals and shrieks as my sister and I would jump into or
burry one another in the leaf piles. That’s what joy sounds like.
As a child, my happy neurotransmitters worked overtime during autumn, and they
still do. As a grown-up, my love of fall has perhaps taken on a few added dimensions;
such as the love of boots, sweaters, fingerless mitts, vests, hats, and leg-warmers (if I’m
really going vintage). And let’s not forget to mention my absolute adoration for hot
beverage’s that look like the color of pumpkin and smell like spice. Root vegetables are
another new, sophisticated seasonal find, as they don’t necessarily appeal
to a less mature palette. I especially love them with cranberries, sage and feta. Lastly,
my adult, middle age appreciation of images and photography. God bless Pinterest. With
a swipe of my finger, I have access to untold numbers of beautiful pictures from all over
the world, all capturing some aspect of what I love about autumn.
If you’re at all like me, my advice; get out there, nature beckons. Winter will be here
soon enough, bringing its own wonder. But for now, now, is the most spectacular time of