Why We Love Autumn: Jenny

Note: This is the sixth essay in the series of “Why We Love Autumn.”  I recently asked some friends who love autumn as much as I do to reflect on what made them so excited for autumn to arrive. The answers will be varied and have a different voice each post. Jenny and I met in fifth grade when she flicked a marker cap at me. It was an immediate, almost twenty year friendship we’re working on these days. She could be the fifth sister on the Lawrence Welk Show skit from SNL.

“I could go crazy on a night like tonight; summer’s beginning to give up her fight and every thought’s a possibility…” Mystery, The Indigo Girls

It usually starts in the afternoons of mid-September, when the late summer and early fall begin to melt together.  It’s not quite autumn but the sky is bright blue and the breeze has that touch of cool to it that everyone has been craving all summer.   There is a sense of something new in the air, a sense of possibility.  Whether it’s the years of first days of school, soccer practices starting up, or learning a new marching band routine – the idea of a fresh start in the fall has been drilled into my head since a young age.  For me it’s continued on into my twenties-at work, with my summer client ending and my winter client starting up.  Whatever it is, there is just enough hint of excitement to keep me wondering what the season will bring.

“Attention paid to leaves, slowly turn their shades” southstreet 1am, Fairweather

Then comes October and only one word pops into my head: mischief.   You can smell it in the air and see it in the way the leaves change from green to orange behind your back.  The candle light from the jack-o-lanterns plays tricks on your eyes.  There seem to be more black cats around and there are definitely more things that go bump in the night.  During any other month these things combined would cause me to hide out somewhere safe.  But for some reason during October I want nothing more  than to be a part of it.  I want to walk in the woods at night (with companions of course, let’s be reasonable).  I want someone to jump out at me wearing a scary mask.  And maybe every four or so Octobers, I want to watch a horror movie.  Finally, what better way to end such a mischievous month than with Halloween? How can you not love the fake cobwebs, the candy corn, and the one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater?  You do and so do I.  I only have one request for October:  leave out the spiders.

“Don’t you love the leaves? Don’t you wish the orange stayed forever? My Sweet Fracture, Saves the Day

When November hits I always have mixed emotions.  To me November is really the last month of fall.  One day I want to pause time and keep the leaves those vibrant reds and oranges forever.  The next day I’m ready to put up the Christmas tree.  What I love most about November is easy though, it’s Thanksgiving.  While I think I’m pretty good at being thankful throughout the year it’s so great to sit back and really put thought into the year that’s past and all the incredible things that have come of it.  I have so many amazing people in my life between my family and my friends and I love an excuse to see as many of them as possible during this time.

Finally December rounds the bend.  With it brings the even cooler weather and just a bit of magic.  While part of this month is still technically fall, for me it’s really the start of a new season.  I can say it no better than with a simple, and please imagine it in a man’s deep voice, happy holidays…..

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