I LOVE autumn, the crisp evenings, the edgy personality of the breezes through the leaves, a Disney villain played by Angelina Jolie, gown swirling around her feet as she paces back and forth, plotting. The villain you love like a terrifying rollercoaster, just saying the name to someone else makes everyone in the room reply, ‘Ooooo!‘
There’s a mood to autumn that fills me with expectation and imagination. I’ve wondered if this was just conditioning as I grew up–Halloween and the Halloween myths were a big part of my formative autumns. Stories of strange happenings and wild possibilities, adventure and close calls, all told by firelight to people bundled up in sweaters and scarves, looking nervously at the shapes thrown around them by the flickering fire, scooting along their log seats, huddling closer together. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was always my favourite, the suspense building almost unbearably until Ichabod’s fateful ride through the woods… Autumn is a time of beautiful, wild imagination.
But autumn is also a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. It is much more New Year than January 1. The return to school, smooth new notebooks and unblemished pens, a new haircut to surprise your friends, new stories to tell from summer vacation. And maybe the discovery of a new romance, holding hands on an afterschool walk through the woods, sparkling with enchantment: the sweet scent of fallen leaves, the glowing air–sunlight through branches of red maples and creamy yellow birch.
And warmer clothes start coming out of the cupboards, or we wander slowly through the shops to see the new fashion this autumn, trying on boots, coats, wrapping a scarf around a neck and looking in the mirror, tilting your head to the side, imagining yourself outside, laughing with snow falling all around you, holding a mug of mulled wine. This scarf or this one for the New Years Eve Party that Amanda always has?
I was walking through the shops last week and came around a corner to see a mannequin wearing a chunky winter jumper and I did one of those cartoon pause/double takes. I am still trying to figure out what it was about the jumper that caught me but something on seeing it instantly took me back to high school autumns in Northern Minnesota, when I was working long hours at Taco Johns to try to earn enough money for the winter sweaters that would complete the look of a trendy 1980′s girl in a winter scene (the look was never quite complete on me–is it a disappointment or a badge of honour that I was never a trendy girl of the 80′s?).
The yearning for the perfect winter look, even the feel of dry heat inside buildings and crunch of snow underfoot all flashed through me as I looked at this unremarkable jumper in a British chain store. I had been quietly mourning the end of a lovely summer but these intense feelings of autumn anticipation made me remember that each season has its qualities.
(And now that I’ve Googled an image and a link of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I am really getting into an autumn mood!)
What does autumn mean to you?
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Image from Google Images.
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