Autumn!

It took a while to surface from sleep, this morning. In my dream, it was the middle of winter and I was walking home from the writing group I belonged to back in Detroit. Snow was everywhere, and as I walked I realized my feet were bare. I remember thinking how odd, because my feet weren’t cold at all but I began hurrying anyway, aware frost bite was a distinct possibility.

That’s about the time I woke up, to Phish’s song “Bouncing Round the Room” cheerfully filling my bedroom. Sometime during the night I had pulled the blanket at the end of the bed over me and that is when I noticed the cool breeze billowing the curtains, rushing over me – today is the first morning in over three months I haven’t woken up sticky with sweat, early morning sun pushing me from bed  before my alarm does.

Autumn, I thought – breathing the word in deeply and exhaling it with a sigh. Autumn is on its way.

The sweet relief of summer giving way to fall. College students moving back into the city, filling up our nooks and crannies, claiming apartments that remain empty throughout the summer, taking up tables at favorite restaurants, cramming the grocery stores.  A few leaves already falling from the trees although we are weeks away from the colors turning.

I fell into stupidity this summer – I’ll be the first to admit it. The first trimester of my pregnancy combined with the stifling heat – day after day in the high nineties – combined with nausea that showed up three times a day like clock-work (8:30 am, 4:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.) – I found myself collapsed on the couch more often than not, watching television instead of reading or writing – accomplishing little around the house in terms of cleaning or rehabilitation. In addition to the fatigue (both pregnancy and heat-related), I found my taste buds all out of wack and food a mine field – avocado suddently made me gag, steak sent me running for the bathroom, anything too strongly flavored (feta cheese, kalamata olives, red onion) had to be avoided. I found myself enamored with grilled American cheese sandwiches, baked doritos, lemon flavored yogurt – if it had yellow dye number 5 in it, I probably ate it during the first trimester. This was completely the opposite of what I imagined myself doing prior to getting pregnant, so certain I would feed my unborn baby nothing but organic fruit, veggies and whole grains.

But now, autumn is nearly here! This weekend we began testing paint colors for the nursery. I cleaned.  I ruthlessly attacked my “to do” list on the television DVR and deleted all sorts of television shows about to be taped and instead began reading The Lacuna.  My palate, while still turned off my old favorites like avocado and peaches, can now tolerate things like greek yogurt, pecans, paprika, rasberries. Soon I will begin cooking soups and stews and casseroles instead of relying solely on Sam’s grilling or desperately seeking the sanctuary of air-conditioned restaurants. I have one full season left before the baby is born and while I don’t subscribe to the theory that my life will totally and completely change once he or she is born (surely, there will be time, after a bit, for yoga, and for reading and writing) I do know there will be less time for the quiet contemplation found in revising an essay or attempting a new recipe.

I know I’ve written about this before but I’ll say it again, anyway – I truly don’t think I have a favorite season. I love all of them for what they bring, from the sun-soaked days of July to the bitter damp bone cold of February, but even more I think I enjoy the time between the season changes the most – summer to fall, when you can get away with wearing shorts and an old college sweatshirt, bake apple pie one day and go out for ice cream the next  – it’s the transitions I relish, the promise they bring of a whole entire new season stretching out before you, ripe with space and promise and long days to fill, anyway you choose.

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8 Responses to Autumn!

  1. musingsfromthesofa says:

    Our days are hovering between summer and autumn; I really don’t mind which because we’ve had glorious summer days, without that humidity which besets the US. But I am ready for a change now!

  2. Andi says:

    Beautifully written! I do love the change of seasons, and in TX the move from summer to autumn is nothing short of holy! I’m so ready for ANY bit of a chill in the air.

    Glad the pregnancy is evening out a bit. I was a big dorito fan, and I loved fruity things. Onions sent me screaming from any room.

  3. shoreacres says:

    I’m absolutely in agreement – the transitions are wonderful. Like Andi says, we need that transition from summer to autumn soon here in Texas. It’s been too hot, too long. Of course our summers are hot, but this has been extraordinary.

    One of the great delights of true autumn here is the end of hurricane trouble. Even before the season officially ends, once we’ve hit October, what comes probably isn’t going to be one of the Katrina-level storms.

    And as you say, October’s also the beginning of soup-stew-and-pot roast season. I’m ready.

  4. Beautiful. And pregnancy is a transition too, so you’re experiencing it on all levels. Hope fall brings you relief.

  5. litlove says:

    This is so beautiful. We have harbingers of autumn around, a few rusty leaves on the big trees, for instance. But I think external changes help us to make internal ones, and the changing season will help you into the next trimester of pregnancy, which I recall being a very good one. Those first few months are not easy to deal with, but it gets a lot better.

  6. Musings…I think I could have dealt with this summer in a much more mature manner, had it not been for the humidity…
    Andi, thanks so much for the kind words! I’ve heard of MANY women enjoying doritos during pregnancy when they could enjoy little else…I wonder what is up with that?
    Shoreacres…I think food is one of the most exciting things about fall! This fall it will be for me especially…I’ve spent so little time in the kitchen and my appetite is returning, heartily!
    Charlotte- thanks so much. I already feel a ton of relief from the heat and I imagine things will only get better from here!
    Litlove – I love the concept of external changes helping us with the internal – I think you are so correct. On Sunday I enter officially the fifth month of pregnancy and truly, it feels like a pretty big transition in and of itself!

  7. Noble Savage says:

    You captured that change from summer to autumn so perfectly. It’s my favourite time of year when that happens, usually at the beginning of October. Since August is usually such a chilly wash-out here in London, once July is over I just keep looking forward to ‘proper autumn.’ August and September are too wishy-washy for me.

    When I was pregnant I could smell bananas from a mile away, and not in a good way. But I couldn’t get enough of Cholula hot sauce. I even put it on my mashed potatoes.

  8. Emily Barton says:

    Beautiful writing! I love all four seasons, too (really. I know that this summer it SOUNDED like I despise summer, but I really don’t, when summer is reasonable, i.e. not 95+ degrees and 99% humidity every. single. day. Summer in Maine, say). And I was just thinking today how much I love this time of year, when it’s slightly chilly in the morning, very hot during the day, and slightly chilly again at night, when we can turn off the air conditioning in the bedroom at night, signifying that fall is on its way.

    P.S. My hat is always off to you, but multiple hats are off to you for surviving summer in PA this year combined with first-trimester pregnancy.

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