The fall is my favorite season. I love the shift in the air, the smell of burning wood, the changing colors, the golden slant of light, the perfect chill that makes it a pleasure to be outside, and even lovelier to burst through the door with pink cheeks into a warm and well-lit house. It is a season balanced between extremes, and takes the best from the months bookmarking it and makes it perfect, poetic, and poetry. It’s the season of anticipation, because all the best holidays are coming–Halloween and Thanksgiving and the season of present-giving, all of which I get behind whole-heartedly and with an enormous amount of enthusiasm. Also, I enjoy pumpkins and soup.
These are fall things, and all through the blazingly hot summer full of melting heat and uncomfortable warmth, I looked forward with great anticipation to my very first fall in Utah–my first autumn in a place that has traditional seasons in something like 7 years. That is a long time to wait for your favorite season, and I was filled with anticipatory dreams–fireplaces and hot cocoa and colors like “russet” and “harvest” and crunchy leaves and golden sunshine and tartan scarves paired with down vests and apple-picking. Things that smell like cinnamon and new school supplies and maybe some picturesque mormons clopping by in their horse-drawn wagons on their way to an autumnal barn-raising. I don’t know! I was maddened by hope.
At work, they kept talking about how it was going to be a great weekend, and they just hoped it wouldn’t snow. Snow! I scoffed. It doesn’t snow in October. There’s snow already up north, I was informed. I assumed my informants were filthy liars who worked too much and had therefore gone mad. I just flat-out ignored those statements as the ravings of frothing account executives, and toodled on with my week, ignoring the fact that the weather had gone abruptly from distressingly too-warm-for-fall 70 and 80 degrees all the way down, bam, to the 30s and 40s. I shook, freezing quietly to death while waiting for my train, and considered it a fluke.
I had plans for this weekend, which involved charming, camera-ready
vignettes like “fight in the leaf pile!” and “fresh-picked apples” and
“drive up the canyon with a romantic pause at a vista overlooking the
reservoir and breathing in the crisp, cold air, hand-in-hand.” It is
not a surprise if I tell you that we woke up yesterday morning and
there was four inches of snow on the ground, right?
It came down gorgeously, in thick flakes, and it was the perfect
consistency for snowballs, which the dogs love to chase and which I
love slightly less down the back of my shirt and it was cold and lovely
and white and all the nice things snow are, except IT WAS WRONG. It was
October 12. Snow is not allowed to come down on October 12! Snow must
wait its turn! Winter is not allowed to be impatient–it has got plenty
of time already allotted to it, and taking any more is just greedy.
I am holding on to the possibility that it is a lie and a fluke and the
remainder of October through a portion of November I will get my cider
and my hayrides and my apple-cheeked children running shrieking through
the leaves and whatever insane things I’ve decided Must Happen in Order
to Create a Perfect Fall. If it turns out that a perfect fall in Utah
consists of a lot of snow–well, we’ll have to work with that, won’t