Sixty years ago, fall was my favorite season—hands down. Mostly it was about school, and I enjoyed it all: selecting supplies (folders, book covers, notebooks, and even ink for my fountain pen), wearing new school clothes, helping decorate the classroom bulletin board, greeting old friends from the prior school year, collecting colorful leaves, and savoring the crunch of crisp, new-crop apples in my lunch pail. What was not to like! As the calendar rolled through October and November, each with a delectable holiday, the seasonal opportunities for drawing, writing, and eating reinforced all my favorite activities (to this day). Fall was better than winter or spring in terms of its array of festivals.
Now, as an old woman, I fully understand why many people my age dread the season—the dimming the days, the tendency to become housebound, the oppression of oncoming darkness, the sadness of holidays bereft of loved ones. It’s impossible not to realize life is running out.
Even with the slow disappearance of foliage and light, fall days can be spectacular in the Seattle area. A good deep breath of the pungent air this time of year can put a catch in my throat. Noticing the intricacy of a spider’s web outlined in fog adds delight to an ordinary day. Prying open a horse-chestnut shell to find its polished mahogony treasure makes me smile, even if I'm feeling grumpy.
There's still a lot to love about fall.