Fall is my second favorite season. In addition to being the gateway to winter, it is also one of the most beautiful seasons because of the foliage. Living in NH, we get some of the best foliage in the country, though Vermont likely beats us.
Autumn is inexorably linked to the beginning of the school year for me. This is a doubled-edged sword. On the one hand it is a new year with new possibility, on the other it is the end of summer and the beginning if another work year.
There is nothing quite like a crisp Autumn day. It is fun to go for walks and fun to feel the crunch of the multi-colored leaves underneath your feet.
Autumn in New England can be quite cool, which is what I love. School starts in late August and can be awfully hot for 3 or even 4 of the first weeks. I am SO relieved by the time this late Summer/early Fall heat is over and done with. It is such a relief to be over with this heat and humidity. The cool and crisp autumn air is a delight.
Perhaps because I am so wedded to the academic year calendar, Fall speaks to the possibility of new things. It is amazing how much that academic calendar has been drilled into me, so much so that it is more salient for me than the regular calendar year.
Fall makes me think of my time at Phillips Exeter Academy. Between the ages of 14-18, I was a student there. They had trimesters: Fall, Winter and Spring. Summer school was a whole different deal. Since Summer was not a part of the regular academic year, all three seasons had appeal to me. Fall was about beginnings and about the cool crisp air and the plentiful foliage on the trees scattered around campus. I used to walk around and feel the crunch of the foliage under my feet. It also reminds me of loneliness. Making friends was not my strength while at PEA. But I understand this and forgive myself for it because I was coming off of 8 years of severe trauma. I was bullied throughout elementary school and junior high. High intensity bullying lessened at PEA, but it was replaced by isolation. In some ways, I don’t know which was worse. Something about Fall made the myriad of brick buildings around campus seem more romantic and accessible. In the dead of winter they often seemed more foreboding for some reason. My time at PEA will forever be connected to the season of Fall for me.
One of the special things about Fall foliage is orange leaves. Orange is by far my favorite color and there is nothing like seeing a whole tree covered with orange leaves. For me it is breathtaking because it combines my love for fall with my love for trees and the color orange. A fierce orange tree, leaves blowing in the wind, falling to the ground, is an image that makes my heart go aflutter. Finally, my birthday is October 5, so it also helps to make Fall special to me (Go Libras!). Although it is not Winter, Fall is a close second in my book and a season I greatly look forward to after a long, hot summer. It provides cooler weather and great beauty via its foliage. Sitting here in mid-March, it seems so far away. But come again it will and I look forward to it already.