Me, Jessica, Howard & Akie had a Seasonal Show-down during this week’s Perpetual Post. My side is below; read the full post here.
I can’t say exactly why Fall is my favorite season, but that almost seems appropriate. Sometimes the things you love the most defy explanation. Sure, I can name many, many reasons why Fall is a wonderful season, but most of those reasons are bittersweet, and tinged with melancholy. Kind of like Fall!
The colors of Fall are beautiful, for one thing—a bright, festive explosion of autumnal splendor. Granted, leaves do turn dazzling right before they die, so that’s a bit of a downer. But they’ll be back. In the meantime, you can console yourself by going apple-picking and drinking cider. Biting into a crisp Fall apple right off the tree in the height of the season? There’s nothing like it.
Then there’s the rest of the Fall palette. October Fest beer comes onto the scene, and pumpkin-flavored beer and pumpkin spice coffee. And if you don’t love pumpkin-flavored things, how do you feel about sweaters? Sweaters are great! And so is wearing cozy socks, and jackets, and leaving the windows open in late afternoon even as the chill in the air gradually becomes more pronounced. Oh, and let’s not forget soup. And hot tea! Suddenly baking becomes fun again, too, which is a relief after spending an entire summer leaving the oven off because it will heat up the house, which is already a sauna. And did I mention chili? Eating warming foods is silly during Spring and Summer, and often not helpful enough in Winter. But in Fall? It’s the perfect amount of comfort.
And can we talk about Fall holidays? Even if you don’t get Columbus Day off (and I’m not saying anything either way about the validity of lauding Columbus, but I really love that holiday Monday), many jobs inexplicably give employees Thanksgiving Day AND The Day After Thanksgiving off. And Thanksgiving itself is a lovely holiday, given that its main focus is getting together with friends and family, cooking all day and then eating lots more food than you really should. And to top it off, there’s Halloween! The main focus of which is dressing up and eating candy!
Plus, if you’re something of a pessimist like me, you appreciate the sweet sadness of Fall. The sky never looks more brilliantly blue than it does in Fall. The days are still fairly long, and the sun still heats things up in the middle of the day, but when the wind blows it brings with it the faint, troubled scent of winter’s approach. I love that smell! The smell of lower temperatures to come; the feeling that Winter is inexorably approaching. Fall is a long, beautiful, resigned shrug. A knowing look in the form of a season. You and Fall both know that harder times are on the way. But that knowledge only makes Autumn’s brief beauty that much more brilliant.
It’s a Saturday morning in October. The sky is an amalgam of grey and white, the trees are yellow and red and brown. The wind is blowing and it is raining steadily.
In other words, life is good! I LOVE this weather. I have finally given up pretending that I prefer clear blue skies and puffy white clouds. Give me ominous dark thunderheads and pouring rain any day. I could say that this is due to my inherently grim yet poetical nature, but really it is most likely due to my inherently lazy nature and my love of curling up on the couch with a book.
It is also due to my inherently neurotic nature, meaning: when it is nice out, I feel guilty for staying inside. I should be outside, enjoying the nice weather! It’s October! How many more nice days are we really going to have? (A: In North Carolina, probably a buttload. But anyway. My neurotic inner critic is still stuck on Northeastern seasonal temperatures). Molly! The voice says. Shouldn’t you be enjoying this nice day? Go to the park and play Frisbee or just grab a book and sit under a tree! It doesn’t matter that there are bugs underneath trees and the ground is usually wet or feels like it might be wet, whereas the futon in my livingroom is deliciously warm and next to a table where I can rest a steaming mug of tea with Bailey’s in it. My inner critic endlessly urges me outside to play, when the weather is nice. When the weather is bad, it disappears, and I am free, on a lovely cold and wet Saturday like today (and every one knows Saturday is the Best Day), to curl up on the couch and listen to “Wait Wait—Don’t Tell Me” on NPR and make and eat blueberry muffins and surf the internet for hours.
Not to mention that there is something so cozy and comforting about a sky that is blanketed with clouds. It feels like the world has pulled the covers up over its head and refuses to acknowledge the vast blue void of the sky. I like this kind of denial. I can relate.
So there you have it. Give me rain any day.