Fall Comes Calling

Perhaps it has something to do with my hair color, but every year when fall settles upon us, my soul is happy and I find genuine contentment with the world around me. The colors! Oh, the colors! Brilliant reds, decadent oranges, deep russets, glowing coppers… the hues that create the palette of fall feel like home to me, and I am at peace.

I’ll admit, there are moments of summer that I adore – the smell of freshly mown hay, the feel of thick green grass below bare feet, an ice cold root beer on a hot day, my mom’s colorful riot of blooming flowers filling the yard of my childhood home. But summer can hold only so much sway over a redhead with pale skin, devoid of any and all ability to tan, who has an ironic allergy to sunscreen. I simply wither when the mercury climbs into the 90s and beyond, and I’ve known my fair share of sunburns. No thank you!

Fall, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. The crisp, cool mornings and late evenings are invigorating. And who can resist the season’s smells? My grandmother’s apple crisp – heavenly. Cinnamon and nutmeg simmering together with apple cider – divine. But the inviting aroma of the crackling wood from a fall bonfire, now that’s the smell of the season I look forward to all year long!

There are those perfect days that come along every once in a while – the ones that you look back on and smile about for years to come. I couldn’t have been older than six or seven. I spent the day raking leaves into big piles with my grandparents in their expansive backyard on their farm. We raked and raked, and then my brothers and I jumped into piles of crunchy red and brown leaves. Later that day, we sat atop straw bales stacked in the wagon as my Grandpa’s red Farmall H chugged us back towards the woods. There, amid yellowing birch leaves and under golden orange hickory tree canopies, my dad and grandpa built a fire. Supper that night consisted of hotdogs cooked on sticks over the flames, golden brown marshmallows and apple cider.

The evening was chilly, but wrapped up in red woolen blankets and gathered around that delicious-smelling fall fire, sitting amid the fallen leaves, listening to my grandparents and parents talk and laugh, life was perfect.

Welcome, Autumn. I’ve missed you.

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