Welcome to Los Angeles. It is September 24th, and the today’s forecast is sunshine with a high in the mid-80s. In my air-conditionless apartment, the fans are never turned off. I take four showers a day. There is no end in sight.
And meanwhile, on Tumblr, Pinterest, and the so-called Blogosphere, everyone is talking about crisp days and crisp leaves, warm beverages and light layers. I was so excited to move to Sunshineland. I left the east coast at the end of a long and bitter winter. When I got to my new apartment, I was thrilled to hang my heavy coat in the back of my closet. I flipped the bird at “wintry mix”, at thick knit sweaters, at two pairs of socks. I said “see ya later, suckas” to ice skating, skiing, snow-shoeing, curling, and all those other winter games I can’t stand.
But what I forgot about was autumn. That brief, blissful moment at the end of September and the beginning of October, when all of New England gets a new paint job. That welcome reprieve from the oppressive heat of summer, so humid it hangs around your shoulders like a wet feather boa. Those fleeting weeks where the air is cool and refreshing, but not yet cruel and biting. I never thought I’d say it, but I miss driving through the rolling hills of Connecticut, past tiny white churches framed by crimson, burnt sienna, orange red, and red orange leaves, past rust red barns surrounded by rust red trees, past grazing horses just starting to grow in their shaggy winter coats, crunching through the dry brown detritus collecting in their paddocks. In the past few weeks, I’ve started to instinctively reach for tea, for cider, for soup, for Porters and Stouts, those dark, sweet, stick-to-your-ribs beers I love so well.
I miss that first day of fall. I don’t mean the autumn equinox, or any calendar date. I mean that first day when it’s still technically summer but you walk outside and even though it’s still sultry hot out, for the first time in a long time you smell just the faintest hint of musty dead leaves and burning logs. I miss pulling the covers up to my chin. I miss sweaters over dresses with boots. I miss that transition from the shouting, laughing, shorts-wearing, popsicle-eating days of summer to the quieter days of fall, that inward turn from splashing in the pool with friends to reading a book by yourself in the armchair by the window. I miss knowing that the world is changing, and therefore knowing that I am changing. I miss cider. I know I said it before, but I really miss cider.
But more than anything, fall is a time for lovers. Summer is so hot; we sleep stock still on separate sides of the bed, sweat pooling in the creases of elbows and knees. But fall–fall is a time for flushed cheeks, for holding hands, for kisses on cold noses. I think back on last fall and I remember one absolutely perfect thing: at night, in bed, I used to slide my feet between your knees, just to keep my toes warm.
Guess I’m due for a trip home, guys.
All images linked to sources.