Friday, October 30, 2015


What is it about autumn that I love so much? I love to watch every single aspect of the visual display. I love the changing leaves. I love the kinds of flowers that bloom in fall--such deep, rich purples and oranges, and reds. I love the look of cornstalks and pumpkins and bales of hay. I love the smell in the air--cold and leafy, sometimes a whiff of smoke from burning leaves or fireplaces being lit on a cold night. I love the temperatures--both cool and warm but not too much of either. I love the clothes I get to wear--boots and sweaters and corduroy and denim. I love hot chocolate and pumpkin anything.

With all of that love, you'd think I'd like winter, too. There are holidays and families--and that's all good. And winter is okay,  at first. The snow is lovely the first few times it falls, blanketing everything in white cotton. And the deer that come out of the hills add a lovely feel to the picture. But I tire of the unceasing cold, the slippery roads and sidewalks, the snow that quickly turns dirty. I spend much of winter watching for signs of spring--and I'm really good at noticing the smallest signs. It's what comes of being an Alaskan: we always learned to watch for the slightest sign that our interminable season was coming to an end.

Spring begins for me when I see the first hint of green in the bare willow branches. They change color before they get leaves. I love seeing the bitty green buds on the trees I walk under each day on my way to work, the little green blades of hyacinths and tulips and daffodils peeking through the wet brown dirt as the snow melts, the pastel petals peeping out on the fruit trees. I love the promise of that bright lime green that is the color of spring: new and young and fresh. Winter is ending, and that's a good thing.

I endure summer. It's probably a remnant of my childhood, too, but I don't like blazing sun everyday. I enjoy a summer evening when it cools off (if it does) and I can swing in the back yard with the scent of honeysuckle (something I never had in Alaska) wafting on the breeze as the sun sets. I really love a good rain storm pounding away. But the days? I'd rather spend them inside. I don't like my skin burning. I'm not much of a water person, so water sports have little appeal. I tend to stay indoors and read, although an Oregon beach in summer is something I can do. I just don't get to often enough.

No. For me, the season is fall. It's the season that I wallow in, savoring everything about it. I hate to see it ending.

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