For the last couple of years, I’ve thrown a Fall Fest at my apartment. Friends would meet up to carve pumpkins, eat donuts, and drink cider. It was a low-key event, centered around a love of the changing seasons and all the tasty, tasty food that goes with it. This year, now that I’m in my new, smaller apartment, I won’t be able to host Fall Fest, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be giving up my celebratory traditions. There is a pumpkin-shaped candy dish, the rum and cider recipe is as good as ever, and caramel is waiting to be melted onto freshly picked apples. (The centrality of food is no mistake here — autumn is harvest time, after all.)
Then there’s the whole non-food element to the season, that melancholy air that swirls in with those first few crisp days. Fall can bring you down if you’re not careful, as everything around you literally dies and turns away for six months. But if you’re in the right mood, that melancholy is poignant and comforting, a reminder to breathe in the air more deeply and fold your loved ones into you more closely as the cold cuts closer. I know so many people who name autumn as their favorite season, and aside from the relief from sweltering summer, the main reason seems to be that sense of change in the air, the knowledge that everything around us is burrowing under while we start a school year, or start a new project, or rekindle a friendship. Autumn is the perfect encapsulation of the cyclical nature of, well, nature, and also of we humans — everything is changing, decomposing, layering, rebuilding, renewing. The days grow darker and the skies cloud over, but that’s a (deliciously burnt leaves) smokescreen — fall smells crisper and tastes sharper because we are most aware of who we are in these shortening days, and we are alive.
With all that in mind, what are your favorite parts of the season? What longstanding traditions do you cherish? What do you dislike about it? See you in the comments!
UPDATE: I didn’t even realize it as I wrote this, but I wrote like this exact post last November. Oh well, it’s still true.