I live in the Midwest, and it seems like everybody loves fall. The leaves turning color! The crisp air! The pumpkins, the apples, the squash! Whatever weird autumn flavor Starbucks has come up with! Time to get the sweaters out!
Well, not me. My birthday is in September, and I always hated having a birthday close to the beginning of the school year. A birthday that has nothing to do with school? Now that would be a cause to celebrate!
Crisp air means dry air, which means I’m constantly rubbing lotion into my hands. My sinuses hurt all the time, and I’ve got this ongoing, mildly-distressing feeling that even though I’m not sick right this minute, some dread head cold is stalking me down. It’s only a matter of hours, or possibly days.
Crisp air also makes me sleepy. And cranky, too, because I feel like I should be out there hiking around, glorying in the changing leaves, soaking in some of the last remaining sunshine as the year is waning. But I’m too sleepy to get excited about undue amounts of hiking around. I just want to nap the autumn away. Except I don’t really, because all too soon the sky will be gray and the sidewalks will be slushy and possibly snowy and I won’t be *able* to take nice long walks. And then I’ll regret all those sunshiny autumn afternoons that I spent napping, because crisp air makes me sleepy. This is the very definition of a no-win situation.
My family does go apple-picking every autumn, and that I do enjoy. Pick-your-own apples are crispier and sweeter and an altogether more optimal experience than store-bought apples. But, you know. That’s one afternoon out of a season that lasts for months.
Pumpkins are pretty. Mums are pretty. Gourds are pretty. Some people are very imaginative with their Halloween lawn decor. There are, of course, plenty of things to like about the fall.
But you know what fall really is? It’s the tunnel that leads to winter. It’s the season when the days get shorter and flowers and leaves are dying everywhere you look. It’s the season that inspired a holy day called the Day of the Dead.
Yes, I view the fall as a melancholy time of year. And it’s even more melancholy because I feel alone in my low spirits. All my Midwestern neighbors are reveling in this annual frenzy of hay mazes, hay rides, apple butter festivals, and haunted houses. I just feel sort of sad all the time.
Well, there’s nothing actually morally wrong about hunkering down a little early. Give me a cardigan, a quilt, and a whole stack of library books to enjoy.
And, since it’s that time of year, maybe some hot apple cider to go along with that.
Love you & leave you,