I have a somewhat fanatical love of Fall. It is my favorite season; incredibly superior to all others, as far as I am concerned.
The onset of the fall season brings about a joy and enthusiasm in me that makes me want to dance around in a field somewhere. (Side note: I have never understood why some people seem to have this same impulse towards spring or summer. Who wants to hang out in a field during pollen season? Or dance outdoors in 100 degree weather? These are not logical reactions, people!)
I once had an overbearing teacher tell me that a love of fall meant I was a natural pessimist. She claimed some nonsense about “most children” appreciating summer, since school is out, or winter because of Christmas. It took me about 15 years before I was able to muster a proper counterarguments to this empirically challenged claim of hers (yes, I have trouble letting things go).
It would seem to me that those children most likely have an unhealthy focus on materialism (ie. receiving presents) or a prevailing laziness (if school letting out is the only focus). (Take THAT Mrs. Gruner!)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and enjoy Christmas and summer hours as much as anyone. I like presents. I also a enjoy a tan. But those are side effects of certain seasons, not an appreciation for a season in and of itself.
I love the fall season because it reveals some the magic in this world. Leaves change into a rainbow of dramatic hues. The air snaps and crackles and smells “crisp” with a hint of spice.
The sky takes on a shade of profound deep royal blue in the early evenings of fall that puts any old sunrise to shame. The moon seems closer, bigger, brighter, and somehow more relevant to daily life in the fall. (Be on the lookout for a flurry of articles about harvest moons, full moons, etc. In major news outlets during the fall. Every year!) The stars seem brighter in that deep blue sky, and the nights are just the perfect temperature for a stroll at twilight.
Particularly peculiar fruits and vegetables appear in the fall, all in the same garish colors as the rest of the season. Many also appear in startling forms.
(Check out the “goose squash” that my Whole Foods is selling right now. Can you say, fascinating? How in the world do you cook it?)
I also have a particular love of all things pumpkin – pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter. My friend Amy has an amazing recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that will change your life! (If you knew her, that is. You really should know Amy. She’s pretty great!)
It seems the whole natural world is putting on a show for the senses and demanding mankind’s attention in the fall.
That is what I mean by magic! The world is full of it – something that can be too easily forgotten sometimes amidst work deadlines, dead car batteries, and dentist appointments. The world is a magical beautiful amazing place, begging us all to stop and notice it every fall.
So here are a couple of things that I am enjoying about fall this year. Maybe you will enjoy them too!
1. Pumpkin muffins, Pumpkin Lattes, and Apple Cider. (Don’t let Starbucks fool you – almost every coffee shop and bakery carries some version of these offerings during the fall.)
2. Cinnamon Pinecones (at Whole Foods now). I don’t really know what to do with them, but they smell amazing. Maybe put them in a vase?
3. Pumpkins and Gourds. They are so fun! I love buying a bunch of tiny pumpkins and having one on my work desk, one on my dashboard (hey, I think the stuff on your dash-board is weird too!), and some at my home and boyfriend’s.
But in Old Town Alexandria, there is a decorating trend with baby pumpkins that is all the rage. Old Town is full of historic town houses, and people put baby pumpkins in the transoms over their doors in the fall. Love!
4. Google Sky Map (App) – The most incredible app ever for sky gazers! This program allows you to point your phone at the sky, and an astronomy chart shows your which stars, constellations, and planets you are looking at. It completely changes viewing the night sky. And it is free to download to any smart phone. Galileo himself would have impressed!
5. Article from McSweeney’s about Decorative Gourds – (If you are easily offended, don’t read this. There, you have been warned! If you are not easily offended by language or satirical “thug” attitude, by all means read ahead. I didn’t write it, so you can’t get mad at me!) This article just makes me laugh! And frankly, who can’t stand to laugh more?