Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn Always Makes Me Giddy

Cope Park—Juneau, AK    (c) TBug

I’ve noticed as the years rapidly go by my moments of nostalgia have altered and grown.  Most anyone can attest to that moment when they were transported back in time, thanks to the absurd thought that it’d be a good idea to sing karaoke at a co-worker’s going away party last month, to that high school dance where they busted out Macarena moves with their closest friends.  No? Just me then? Ok, so I’ve already dated myself.  Whatever, you get the point.  We’re all capable of pseudo time travel via one or more of our senses.  This isn’t a profound revelation.  One of the greatest triggers for time travel in my world is the onset of autumn.  I love autumn!  In fact its presence makes me simply giddy.  Those that know me understand this isn't a common emotion for me.

As I was driving home from work a couple evenings ago, wearing what I’m sure was an absurd grin, I realized over the years that the autumn triggers that feed my enjoyment have transformed.  I imagine the accumulation of memories has something to do with my enduring and expanding enjoyment of this season, but as I drove along admiring the color bleeding from tree to tree I began to understand that the roots of my pleasure haven't simply changed, but instead have spread out in various directions in order to absorb a broader spectrum of emotional nourishment. 
I’ve always liked change.  My whole life I’ve enjoyed change.  I used to rearrange my room as a way to invite change.  I did this frequently. Much to my mother’s annoyance.  I changed the pictures, posters, and various other decorations on my walls constantly as well.  Much to my mother’s annoyance.  I didn’t see what the big deal was.  So what if there were enough holes in the wall for it to pass as a colander.        
As I got older I explored the options for “change”  on a larger scale  For example, I moved. A LOT!  Much to my mother’s annoyance.  Are you noticing a trend?  Anyway, like my avenues of change my relationship with autumn has changed, evolved, and deepened over time.  Part of what I liked about autumn as a kid was the precursor for change it represented.  September meant a new school year, new teachers, new clothes, new crap to learn, new everything. 
As time progressed the season began to represent other experiences as well.  Appropriately, the first time I ever truly fell in love was in the fall. To this day I reminisce over our experiences during the autumn months despite the chaos that ensued as the seasons progressed with him. 

It has also traditionally been a season for family.  Despite my uncanny ability to annoy my mom in a variety of ways, we happen to be very close.  In fact my entire immediate family are so close Thanksgiving has always been a family hangout holiday.  So much in fact I haven’t celebrated it since I moved away from them because my entire association with Turkey Day is rooted in them.  

Autumn also instigates the indulgence of warm cozy clothes, hot chocolate (or coffee as I got older), and all things comforting.  A warm wool sweater, my toasty Uggs, a cup of Raven's Brew and a good book beckon me even now.  

And the colors!  Dear god the colors.  They display divine truths in this humble, mortal’s realm.  Oh, and the smell of wood burning in stoves fills my lungs with home.  Mmmmm.  And I love the chill that lunges out at you as though it had been lurking behind a corner waiting to catch you off guard as you walk out your door distracted by the sight of sun.  It is truly the best time of year.  And though autumn is required to fulfill its respite role in the transition from summer to winter, in my world autumn has instead always meant new beginnings.  I can’t help but feel each year as though I may burst with excitement much like that little girl who rushed up the stairs the first day of school with her hair in pigtails, knee socks pulled up to the hem of her denim skirt, and her new My Little Pony lunchbox held tightly in hand.  


  1. I almost wanted this to start at "we're all capable of..." but i also like the quirky very "you" beginning. And you are sooooooo right about the colors!

  2. Coming from New England, we have one of the best autumns ever! So, I can completely identify with your love of fall! I also like the idea of "giddy" Chalise because you are so serious and sarcastic sometimes. Hehe!

    The colors are amazing and one would have to be a stone wall not to get some emotions from them. And the smell of turning leaves! It's amazing!