The Fall of My Life

 I apologize for misleading you. The implication of an embarrassing face-plant seemed too entertaining not to employ. It was a lure, reeling you in with hopes of sharing my perspective on the season.

Fall in North America is typically recognized as the months of September through November, when summer fades and begins the transition into winter. The third phase of the year is also referred to as autumn. In my world, it consistently stands at the top of the seasons podium. It is chock full of some of my favorite things: football, festive holidays, vibrant colors, great food and fun.

Weather and available sunshine always dictate the style of fun that can be had. Autumn is no exception. As a kid in Indiana, a favorite thing to do when the leaves dropped from the trees was to rake them into big piles and toss them about or bound through them with friends. You would stay outside for hours, grabbing as much outdoor time as possible because the days were shortening and the air was cooling. But during fall, a warmth is still detectable. Tepid breezes cut through the crisp, chilled air. That same mild breeze carries with it a spiciness that inspires ciders and cocoas. The wind literally shuttles along the smell of change.

There is no shortage of celebration this time of year either. The holidays cover the spread, from scary fun to family focused. These months are laden with two of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Energy builds all year long for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Even as I write this, Halloween has already come and gone. Joys of costumes and trick-or-treating have ended, though the consumption of candy has not. This juncture marks a mid-point in the season for me; the trees have largely completed their color conversion to the beautifully earthy yellows, oranges, reds and browns; temperatures have dropped, but not hit their lows.

Just around the corner though, is the next major celebration, Thanksgiving, bringing with it the joys of family, an appreciation of blessings and food dishes that make a belly happy. With seasonal items like pumpkin, orchard-fresh apples, spiced cider, tailgate foods and countless stews or chilis to stave off the brisk air, what’s not to love?

I’m sure it is obvious, but no other time of year brings out the nostalgia in me like the colorful backdrop of autumn. With fall, there is a versatility that can’t be matched. I challenge you to pit it against the other three seasons and not find something that puts a smile on your face, which is way better than falling on it.

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