Well, it's no secret that this is my favorite time of year. I suppose there is supposed to be something inherently melancholy about autumn. After all, it is the time when most living things begin to die or go dormant. It's the deep breath before the long, cold gloom of winter. And it's the prelude to the holidays, and the eventual end of the year. In many ways, it seems, fall could be misrepresented as depressing, or sad. But I don't see it that way at all.
When I step out the door of a new fall morn and breathe deep the crisp, clean, cool air I am invigorated. Relieved because late summer in Texas is a furnace of dry, dead, desolation. Refreshed because the cool air invites me to linger out of doors where I truly prefer to be. And excited with all of things that the new season brings to look forward to.
October alone brings two of my favorite events of the season: Halloween and The Texas Renaissance Festival. By mid-November we usually start to see a bit of color change in the trees and shrubs. Of course the magnitude of this color change depends completely on the stubborn and fickle Texas weather. Things must be considered: Did we get enough rain over the summer? Did we get too much rain in late summer? Is it cool enough? (Probably not!) Is it too hot? (Probably!) Has the groundhog come out of his hole yet? Wait a minute, I think that's for something different.
Anyway, we get nothing here that even approaches the spectacle that is seen in the more northern climes. But, color or no color, it does get a little cooler here as each day passes to the next, and that's worth being thankful for all by itself. Early November contains another blessed festival, which has become a recent tradition for some members of my family and I: The Austin Celtic Festival! Eh hmm. Yes, well, try and contain your enthusiasm, dear readers. So, it's a pretty dinky festival as festivals go, but the subject matter is something that interests me. It gives me a chance to wear my kilt amongst other kilt wearers, and the music is pretty damn good, too. The Texas Renaissance Festival continues well into November also, culminates on Thanksgiving weekend, and by then the holiday season is in full swing. Retailers around the world rejoice! (Sorry. What would this post be without at least a small dose of my signature cynicism?)
So there it is. Fall. Autumn. Whatever you choose to call it. If the cool air doesn't make you want to kick your heels as you step out the door, then surely you can get excited about the Halloween candy, caramel apples, or apple cider. So, if you haven't ever enjoyed fall for what it really is, when you step out your door tomorrow morning, take a minute before you dash to your car for work. Smell the smells, breathe the cool air, and feel the changes around you. Notice the dark red sunrises and harvest globe moons at night. Ride with your windows down and enjoy the brisk air and try to imagine how you felt as a kid as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and eventually Christmas approached.
Fall is for merry making. And if there is one thing this world could use a little more of, it's merry making.