Is this smell of new crisp air, of change, of time moving and getting colder, is this something just I smell? Is it possible that others feel this intoxicating mix of nostalgia, melancholy, and joy all at once?
I love this season. Until this year I have always felt torn - What IS my favorite time of year? June and July always had a lot of clout - my birthday, no school, playing outside (in shorts) til much later, popsicles... But there was something about fall even though its the beginning of a school year and the gateway to some bitter cold Midwestern months. It was a tight race between early summer and mid fall , but I'm ready to declare a winner. Yes, folks, autumn has my heart. Recent events took June down more than a few notches, but I think it really has more to do with how well I know myself now versus when I was 12 (when I first consciously considered this question), and in that self-awareness, giving my instincts the weight they merit.
In northern California we don't get the brilliant crisp autumn rainbow that is so much part of these months in the Midwest, and this year I realized that it is not from the leaves crunching or the color of the trees that I draw my happiness in this season. Here we get more fog, cooler temperatures, and rain, and yet I every day I am finding myself happy just to be able to feel this shift, to feel the melancholy AND the joy. The renewed wetness doesn't bring me down because I have never been bothered by the rain. I find it peaceful to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of raindrops, and figure it's a good excuse to invest in some galoshes that make me feel like I'm 7 again.
This autumn brought me a sense of relief, from what I cannot say. I still have the same questions, doubts, sadnesses, and insecurities I had two months ago. Today they seem more manageable, and I am happy to see the rain and smell the woodsmoke and put an extra layer on.
So here's to autumn. Let's raise a glass (of cider! or hot chocolate! or brandy!) and give thanks.