Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Thinking of Fall
When I stepped off the elevator yesterday, there was a chill in the lobby. At first I thought it was because of the air conditioner that hums in the lobby all summer long. But the front doors of my building were open, and the lobby was devoid of the rattling of the old window unit. I realized, with unrestrained glee, that the chill was coming from the outside, accompanied by a smell that means only one thing.
Fall is coming.
Every August there are a few days in the last couple weeks of the month that feel like this. That give just a hint of what is to come. I think in Manhattan, where we spend the summer sweltering on subway platforms, and melting as we walk through the streets, we feel these days more acutely. The days that signal the changing of the seasons from summer to fall. And fall is, without a doubt, my favorite season of all.
I love fall for its cool days and chilly nights. For its spicy scents. For its pumpkin flavored drinks and gingerbread desserts. I love the cozy feeling of shorter days and longer nights. I love running through brightly-hued falling leaves, and taking my boots and sweaters down from the high shelves in my closet where they have lived, out of sight, all summer long.
Even though I know there are still some hot days to come before summer releases its sticky grip, today, I am thinking of fall.
Part of the reason I love this season so much is that I think I have never stopped operating on a school year, even though it has been four years since I have actually been in school. I still feel that unique thrill each and every August when notebooks and pens replace flip-flops and sunscreen in the "seasonal" aisle of Target and my local drugstores. I just love school supplies. Especially the pens. Don't laugh. I know you do too.
Fall still feels like a beginning to me, despite its proximity to the actual end of the calendar year, and no matter how far away I get from my student years, I don't think that will even change. As the leaves start to turn and fall, I will always think of the excitement of college move-in days, the stress of the first days of my law school years, and brand new apartments with September first leases.
Fall is the beginning of the Jewish year; a time when we celebrate our most important and awe-inspiring holidays. A time when we reflect on our past year, and make our wishes for the year to come. A time when we can wipe our slate clean, and live as we mean to go on.
Fall means Steeler football Sundays.
And it was fall when I walked down the aisle on my wedding day surrounded my family, friends, and the colors of the season. Now in the fall I celebrate my wedding anniversary, and plan and dream about all the fun still to come.
It might still be August, and summer may still have some heat to pour out yet, but today, I'm thinking of fall.
And maybe buying some school supplies on the way home too.