Friday, November 27, 2009

Splendors of Fall

I am sitting in my California living room looking outside the window. The grass is wet and vivid green, the skies filled with whispy grey clouds, interspaced by round pearly ones, and the world serene and beautiful in its absence of the golden hue it takes when in the sun. I love Northern California. And I love it most when it's fall and when it's overcast. I guess good ol' NorCal loves me too because it gave me a present this morning--a rainy autumn day.

In light of the beauty, I am going to write a piece all about the lovely fall. But it is specific to the Granite Bay/Roseville/Loomis/Rocklin area, so parts of it may not make sense. (Burn days :) and Apple Hill)

In Autumn, every person seems to be more cheerful, to have more energy; each is full of some excited anticipation. The earth seems to take a deep breath. It relaxes, as do its inhabitants, as it recovers from the steamy busyness of summer and prepares for the hustle and bustle of the cold, frantic winter. Although it is a lull, a time of reflection and refreshment, there is a certain eagerness and excitement to be found on the faces of passersby. When I walk from my house into a clear, dewy autumn morning, I feel as if I have also taken a deep breath, only straight into my soul where my insides are elated and ready to burst with utter contentment. And then I take that breath. As I breathe out a cloud of mist, a smile creeps onto my face and into my eyes. And I can’t get rid of it. That same feeling returns when I smell the dusty, light smoke of burning leaves in the country or see rosy noses and cheeks and bright eyes.

Trees lining the streets turn smokey red, dusty orange, crunchy brown, creamy yellow. The Wind scuttles the leaves across the streets.

I love driving with my windows rolled down; I can feel the cool air caressing my face. On autumn days, I go to get the mail, just so I can go outside for a walk. I love to feel the comfortable warmth of the sun on my cheeks. And the wind—whether it’s gentle or blustery.

The climate change brings about feelings of independence and contentment, and the events and activities that occur during autumn evoke feelings of love and happiness. There are so many activities to be done in the fall. Children visit pumpkin patches and carnivals. There they get their eager little faces painted or pick out plump orange pumpkins; they wave at scarecrows or ride on bumpy hay rides. Football season starts. Fans fill the stadium with rosy noses, scalding, steamy hot chocolate, beanies, warm blankets, noisy cowbells, and loud enthusiasm. Families visit Apple Hill. Children lie next to fireplaces and look through countless toy ads as they plan out their Christmas lists. Starbucks brings out its red holiday cups. Disneyland opens its spectacular fireworks and busy parade. And Mothers decorate their home with bright leaves, brown turkeys, cheery pilgrims, and spooky ghosts.

Halloween is a holiday that can be looked forward to for months. Sweet little children plan for months what they are going to be. I love handing out candy to all the Buzz Lightyears, “Sleeping Booty”s, ninjas, ghosts, witches, and Batmen. Halloween catches the essence of youth. The children can be whomever they want to be, and I love to see it and encourage them.

Every Thanksgiving, we spend the week with all six of my dad’s sisters and their families. We are spread all over California and Oregon and often times, Thanksgiving is the only time we see each other, aside from weddings. It is a time for people to relax without engagements or commitments. During this week, we stay up late just talking with one another, asking life’s puzzling questions and talking about whatever we want.

Fall is everything wonderful—Gentle wind and rain; cozy sweaters and warm scarves; the vivid fullness of life and family.

Happy Autumn!

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