“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
f. scott fitzgerald, the great gatsby
this may or may not eventually turn into a “countdown to fall” blog, just an fyi. but i can’t help it, i’m in love with all things autumnal. the weather, the leaves, the pumpkin (and other produce), the scarves, and boots, and cozy sweaters that finally can be pulled from the depths of your closet. the return of football, and spiced lattes, and our beloved scripted must-see-tv (looking at you, parenthood). and don’t even get me started on thanksgiving, my hands-down favorite holiday. while summer always tends to leave me a little bit dissatisfied, fall never disappoints. it’s like a hug from your friend that gives really good hugs (don’t you love good huggers?). you’re left feeling comforted, renewed, loved.
and while the aforementioned list are more trivial representations of the autumn season, associations that have become synonymous with the “ber” months –september, october, november, there are a few more qualities about fall that hold a deeper significance to me. as f. scott fitzgerald so perfectly coined, life [seems to] start all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” as if mother nature hits the resent button and we’re left to live the remaining days with a clean slate. while the cooler weather may have us adding layers to our wardrobe rather than removing them, i can’t help but feel as though we shed our skins come labor day (actually, that might just be the sunburn peeling). the stresses and manic-ways of spring and summer seem to melt away when the temperatures drop. life just seems to slow. and we’re more than willing to wait for it, too.
for me, fall has always been about family. family traditions, family trips, family dinners and gatherings. growing up, we’d all make the trek out to valley center to pick out our prized pumpkin at bates nut farm.
i’d scour the fields for the best-looking gourd, clad in my osh kosh bagosh, posing for pictures with pumpkins as orange as my hair.
and before the leaves had fallen from the trees and the winter’s first frost had covered the ground, we’d load up the explorer and head northward to yosemite. we’d spend days riding bikes through the valley and hiking the trails to the base of the falls and evenings roaming the fields in search of deer, the last signs of daylight, and a little something sweet. we’d drive home exhausted but full -of stories, adventures, and lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
then there’s the most treasured and anticipated fall tradition of all -thanksgiving. casserole dishes of sweet potato pie, my aunt’s famous stuffing, roasted vegetables, and pop’s glistening turkey covering the counter tops, the fam huddled around my mother’s dining room table. an afternoon of my favorite things spent with my favorite people.
so i make no apologies for my love for this time of year. it’s so much more than boot season or football season or pumpkin spice latte season. it’s a deeper, more fervent love affair for the freshness and newness that comes with shorter days and longer nights, of cooler temperatures, and warmer wardrobes. it’s nature’s reset button. and i can’t help but feel it’s my reset button, too.