It is the season of red leaves, vivid against the still-bright green of the trees around them, falling from spindly branches in Harvard Yard until they pile up on the ground, layer on layer. I want to gather up handfuls and press them in frames, paper my living room with them, slip them into envelopes and send them to friends.
It is the season of jackets and ballet flats, of a scarf in the morning and a bare neck at lunchtime, the in-between season where we squint at the forecast and open and close the windows accordingly. It is the season of crisp apples and golden butternut squash, piled at the farmers’ market alongside the last few heaps of plump tomatoes.
It is the season of bare feet and snuggly robes, of waking up early to a slightly dimmer sky each day, of reaching for the Vitamin D pills but not pulling out the light box. Not quite yet. It is the season of adjusting, of reveling in the sunshine and warmth while readying ourselves for the short dark days to come.
It is the season of cranberries, baked whole into bread flavored with orange zest, infusing my cups of tea along with citrus and almond. It is not quite time for the spiced holiday blends or the stout Yorkshire that will see me through the winter. It is the season of pumpkin chai and pumpkin bread and local apple cider sipped cold and refreshing from a glass or warm and spicy from a mug.
It is the season of fall events, from conferences and work celebrations to book signings and church clean-out days. It is the season of football and midterms and fresh-faced students everywhere, sporting still-new college tees and hoodies.
It is the season of juggling at our house, as my husband adjusts to a new work routine and I balance a day job with freelance gigs and try to keep a bit of mental space clear for my own writing. It is the season of a few routines – church on Sunday, Castle on Monday nights, washing the dishes after dinner, the New York Times crossword – that keep us sane and connected.
It is the season of looking ahead to the holidays, thinking about plane tickets and travel plans, about Turkeypalooza and Christmas cards, starting to make gift lists but not worrying over it yet. Two thousand miles changes the shape of a holiday season, means more planning ahead, more laying of groundwork now so it doesn’t slide into a spiral of stress in December.
It is the season of being here now, of reminding myself every day to pay attention to the light, the words on the page, the office banter and the faces of those I love. It is the season of settling into a rhythm, but also of waking up every morning with a fresh start, a willingness to begin again.
What season are you in, these days?