I woke up yesterday morning at 6:15 a.m., as per usual, and came downstairs for breakfast. Now, I live with this little monster I like to call Indy, and every morning just about the time I’m ready to sit down to eat, she comes tearing down the stairs like it’s Christmas morning. She stands in front of the door, doing a little happy dance, clicking her nails on the laminate floor, until I let her outside to relieve herself on the little patch of grass between the houses.
But this particular morning when I opened the door, it was different. In the dim dawn light, the wind was blowing, the leaves were rustling, and the air was electric.
By far my favorite season, I can’t wait for that first fall day every year. Toward the end of September, I get the itch for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, boots and sweaters, and football on Sundays. There is nothing like the crisp air and the changing leaves that mark the last few months of the year. And working at a university, campus comes alive again at the end of September, filled with both new students and those returning to their four-year home. Walking around, you can feel the excitement of the new school year – the chance to make yourself over, get the grade (or the girl/guy), and make this year your year.
Now, where I grew up, you can see, feel, and smell that it’s fall. On the Central Coast, not so much. My autumn giddiness was soon replaced by slight panting and fanning myself while hiking up the hill that is campus in… 87 degree weather. Go ahead, call me a spoiled brat. I know people who would kill to live where I live, which is why I’m not complaining. After all, it’s not the weather or the clothes or the apple-picking that make or break the season (although I do loves all those things like Indy loves to pee outside in the morning, and by that I mean in a happy dance-inducing kind of way), it’s the feeling that comes along with the combination of all those things. Feelings of warmth, of comfort, of home. People say spring is when love comes out in full force? Honey, I say that’s just hormones. True love comes out in autumn, when every day gets a little chillier, and all you can do to keep warm is pull your loved ones a little closer.
So until the beaches sit lonely, until I can pull my scarf a little tighter around my neck, and until Pumpkin Spice Lattes take over my go-to Starbucks order… I’ll keep my friends a little closer, hold Bill’s hand a little tighter, and call my family a little more often.
And happy-dance that fall may be just around the corner outside, but it’s already here in my cheesy little heart.
Kind of like this.
This picture is the view from my father’s house on Thanksgiving morning last year…
Soon, darling. Soon.