Break out the pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon-scented candles, kiddies, because it's always on Halloween when Autumn finally feels official to me.
Whenever it's this time of year, I always think back to my first fall in Boston. Back in New England seasons are seasons. More so than anywhere else I've been in the country. The winters are frigid and brutal, summers are best spent in sundresses, eating lobster on the Cape, and the most magnificent colored trees -- in bright reds and oranges and yellows -- dot the landscape when the leaves finally change and the season turns to fall.
Back before I married D, when I was dating a different boyfriend whom I'd met three years earlier in California and was attempting to do the long distance thing with (future blog post on what I learned? I think so), these were the seasons, in all their truths, that I got to enjoy for a time. During this stint out East, I worked as a freelance reporter and one Saturday morning got to cover some energy policy event where Joe Kennedy II (son of RFK) was speaking. The event was out by Boston College, where the landscape is more suburban than city, and since I had no car I got to walk a ways from the last stop on the T line through the BC neighborhoods to my destination.
This walk and this day is so vivid that to me it epitomizes fall. It had just rained a few hours earlier and the wet pavement smelled clean but metallic, like someone had washed a bunch of copper pennies. The sky was overcast and the still air felt crisp against my cheek like a newly starched dress shirt. Bright orange pumpkins sat on each porch I walked past. I wore a hounds tooth trench and boots, whose clip-clopping down the sidewalk cut the silence of the empty neighborhood.
I'm not sure why but ever since that day, I've always associated that moment in time with fall. So clearly that I can even see what my breath looked like with every exhale.