Our car steamed through the chilled summer night, sliding in the grooves of the worn country road like new rain in some forgotten river bed. The encroaching weeds that threatened the road’s existence from both sides stood up and claimed their innocence as we rushed past the McMansion developments surrounding leaning, creaking farmhouses who refused to sell. The wind squeezed into our open windows, chilled our exposed faces and hummed hymns to the coming of fall.
Many people speak of Christmas as the best time of year. Those people are delusional. At the very least they’re senseless. And by “senseless” I mean they must lack several of the five senses the average person acquires at birth. When fall comes, smell, touch, taste, sight and sound are overwhelmed in the best of ways, like a feast of fresh vegetables after a forty-days fast. The fast is the long, woozy summer which numbs us every year. And the feast is the turning of trees, crunching of leaves and the feel of the chilly North wind that wakes us up from our summer slumber.
My wife and I always look forward to a long drive to welcome approaching autumn and to tell summer to not let the proverbial door knob hit him in the proverbial ass on the way out. In order to make it through the exhausting Oklahoma summer I tell myself that summer makes the autumn feel all the more refreshing. I’m not usually in favor of lying, especially to myself; but in this instance I feel it’s necessary for my own sanity. So a few weeks ago we felt the chill in the air and decided it was the right time to take that first autumn drive.
We began by filling our stomachs with free wine and hors d’oeuvres at the dozen-or-so art galleries near our house. Then we grabbed coffee to set our already-revved minds into a whir of thoughts. We live in the heart of the city, but in twenty minutes in any direction we can envelop ourselves with the scent of pine and dirt, the chirping of insects and the prying stares of a million blinking stars. We played music that gently strums with the rhythm of the wind on the rolling horizon as the air chilled our throats and our lungs gasped as if they hadn’t breathed in months.
For me, the fall makes my body, soul and mind all yearn at once for a new way to understand myself in relation to the world; I want to do familiar things in unfamiliar places; I want to see familiar objects from unfamiliar perspectives; I want to overwhelm myself and make sense of it at a later time.
I know this may seem a bit sappy, but I don’t really care. This is the time of year when I always get the sappiest, and I never experience the slightest regret. So let this be my ode to approaching autumn. We welcome you, and we wait with much anticipation.
The Calico Rebellion