Oh, puns. How I love you so.
It’s not officially autumn, but today is September 1, and that’s when autumn begins for me. Never mind that the weather has never and will never acclimate to my wishes. Although, to my infinite glee, the past few days have been absolutely glorious. Cool mornings and clear, crisp nights. (I don’t know what happens in between. I’m in prison most afternoons, trapped behind a desk, my neck straining to gaze out of my colleague’s enviable window to see what the weather is doing.) Fall is indeed coming—despite the humidity that will be re-visiting us in the next few days, despite my mounting suspicions that the “meteorologists” love to just break our autumn-loving hearts with calls of said humidity, despite the fact that summer always does this to me, like the friend who just won’t go away—and I intend on commencing with my excitement now.
I love fall.
I love those endless autumn evenings, which I fill with long, meditative walks and breathing as deeply as I can.
I love imagining my home in Connecticut (because whenever it’s fall, I have a fake, imaginary home in Connecticut; go figure), where I stare, from my fake, imaginary Connecticut window, at the multi-colored leaves that decorate my fake, imaginary Connecticut lawn.
I love that weird, hopeful feeling that the autumn brings out in me, where everything I set out to accomplish will be accomplished, by gum—based, it seems, on the strange, electric sensation in the air.
I love the people I naturally think about when it’s fall. Arthur Miller, one of my favorite playwrights, who wrote a play called After the Fall, which is such a perfect title, which only endears me to him more. James Taylor, and we’ve discussed why. Every boy I’ve ever had a hankering for, because, well, it’s that weirdness in the air. (Plus, a few of them inspired the hankering when they admitted that autumn was their favorite season, as well. Didn’t take much, back then, for my devotion.) Alice Hoffman, another one of my favorite authors, who has a way of describing the seasons, particularly autumn, in such a hypnotic, almost edible way.
I love the following, autumn-y words: harvest, solstice, equinox.
I love that literary fall feeling. There’s a palpable eagerness to read everything and anything I can get my hands on.
I love that, in many ways, I try to include autumn in my own fiction and poetry.
I love boots and peacoats and scarves and trips to New York during fall and, and, and…heaven help me.
I love that melancholy understanding that my favorite time of year won’t last as long as I want it to. I do. Why? I appreciate it even more.
Sigh. To blessedly conclude this love letter/slightly unhinged ode to autumn:
A poem by John Keats, To Autumn.
- Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
- Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
- Conspiring with him how to load and bless
- With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
- To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
- And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
- To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
- With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
- And still more, later flowers for the bees,
- Until they think warm days will never cease,
- For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
- Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
- Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
- Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
- Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
- Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
- Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
- Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
- And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
- Steady thy laden head across a brook;
- Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
- Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
- Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
- Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
- While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
- And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
- Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
- Among the river sallows, borne aloft
- Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
- And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
- Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
- The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
- And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
For my few readers: what’s your favorite time of year and why?