A few nights ago I dreamed that there were red and orange leaves on all the trees in my backyard. Dream me was upset that my mom would not get to see the leaves before her visit this fall, and real me woke up with a distinct realization.
I am so not ready for fall.
I love summer. I always have. From long evenings to playing outdoors barefoot with my friends, to harvesting food from my own garden, summer has always held a particular allure for me. I’d rather wear a sundress than a sweater, and would rather be barefoot than wear a pair of boots.
Lately, I've realized how much I really enjoy writing outside, and I can pretty much guarantee I’m not going to be doing that when it snows.
Every gorgeous red leaf I find on the ground (and there have been a lot lately), reminds me of the inevitability of the bare trees and brown grass that come afterwards. Last year, I was excited about the changing seasons. They had never happened to me before. This year, however, I know what’s coming. I know what all those pretty red and orange leaves mean. It’s not the snow I dread; I’m already looking forward to sitting in the window seat with Hobbes and watching the snow fall. It’s the long periods of cold dead landscape. April was awful last year.
For this California girl, it seems a tad silly to be so consumed with something like the weather, but it defines life in a way that it never did in the Central Valley or Santa Barbara. Here, the weather is a big deal, and rightly so.
The leaves are changing, and I can’t stop them. I can’t eternally put off the day where I’ll climb up our staircase closet, and get all those winter clothes out of storage. I can’t put off the day when I’ll no longer be able to wear flip flops.
Yet now that I know what’s coming, it’s more important for me to try and hold on to that excitement that I had last year for our first winter. I was definitely afraid of the snow, but I was excited too. That excitement carried me through blizzards and temperatures below zero.
Last year, I was determined to enjoy the seasons, and I did. Sure, there were moments when I was insanely jealous that it was 80 degrees in California in January. Yet there were other moments when the beauty of the falling snow struck me silent with wonder. The smell of the first batch of pumpkin bread baking is a marvelous thing.
I’ll need that same excitement to propel me through these new seasons, but I have a few ideas on how to make that happen.
As much as I miss California, it’s really important for me to continue to make Connecticut my new home. That will be my goal for this fall and winter. I still haven’t been apple-picking. Neither have I visited some of the waterfalls that are hidden around here. There’s a lot that I haven’t seen, and lots of people I haven’t met. That will be the good that I will look forward to, even when I pull our winter coats and boots out of the closet.
Other things help too, things like pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint hot chocolates.
I’ll be very grateful when the Hobbit Hole is no longer so damp, and I don’t find mold and mildew in unexpected locales (like on the wine cork we hadn't used in months). I’ll be grateful to pull out some of my favorite scarves. I may not like winter clothes all that much, but I love scarves.
Most importantly, I’ll be grateful to see the growth that will come in the lives of the people I care about and in my own life.