Some of my favorite mornings are those in which the house is chilly because we forgot to switch the AC to heat the night before. This only happens in the fall, and that’s why I like it — because it’s a fall thing. If I were to wake up in December to a house that was 67 degrees, I would whine. But in October or November, I’m happy to wake up with a cold nose.
No, I don’t really understand it, either.
One theory is that I love fall so much because I hate summer. I’m happy to wake up cold because for far too many months, cold was a distant memory. But I also remember feeling this way as a child, when I lived someplace with more evenly balanced seasons and thus did not have such strong feelings about summer. I even kind of liked summer. Probably because triple-digit days were a rare occurrence.
Thinking back on those childhood fall mornings brings up a wave of memories. Nothing specific — no people or events, no particular outfit,* just a feeling of what it felt like to be me as a child. The dusty smell when the heat kicked on. The crisp smell of the air outside, tinged with the smoke of burning leaves. The chill in my chest and nose when I breathed in. The warmth of the sunshine through the chill. Soft flannel and warm sweaters, cold ears and fingertips. I loved them then, and I love them now.
It occurs to me, looking back, just how many fall mornings I have experienced. And, if I am indeed at or near my halfway point in this life, how very many fall mornings I have yet to look forward to.
Yet somehow, it doesn’t feel like enough. It will never be enough.
*Family joke. When I was a child, I had a near-perfect memory of pretty much everything that had ever happened to me, down to what I was wearing at the time. When I started to lose details in these memories, I lost the outfits first. So I would describe an event or a memory to my parents, then ask them what I had been wearing. They found this extremely amusing. I didn’t truly see the humor in it until I became a parent myself.