What has happened to you, my friend? Your temps are up, down, everything but temperate. You used to be the centerpiece of the lovely fall season, all burgundy and gold to savor. But you’ve become like Pluto – a once-legit entity, gone nebulous. Now you’re just a few, quicksilver weeks between capri pants and snow boots.
Honey, I’m worried about you. Some days your temperature rises unnaturally into the 80’s, other days, you’re a raw, rainy prison. What happened to your even days of sun-kissed warmth, piercing through the red-gold canopies of the trees above? Days where a plaid flannel shirt was just enough to ward off your delightful chill.
I need to walk down to the park, drinking a pumpkin spice latte and singing “Kentucky Rain.” I need to sleep in flannel sheets with the windows open. I need hot toddies and corduroy and a cat to warm the night. I need to see squirrels running amok on the lawn with acorns in their mouths, looking for the very best hiding spots.
I need to rake. I need to breathe in sweet, charred air as leaves burn in piles. I need to see little urchins in silly costumes on my front porch, shyly begging for candy. I want again to experience John T. McCutcheon’s politically-incorrect but charming Injun Summer essay from years past (which the Chicago Tribune saw fit to run each fall until the “PI police” shut it down in 2011; see the great Roger Ebert’s piece on it here).
Darling October, I don’t want you to be just a pit-stop between Labor Day and November. I need the old you back. Slanted light from a sun setting earlier each day, gilding my street for a precious few minutes before disappearing. Sleeping snugly while fall-cool air sneaks in through a cracked window. Straw bales in the fields. Apples and cider and candy corn. Linus Van Pelt awaiting the Great Pumpkin, faith unbroken.
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