Fall, Slowing Down

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall is not my favorite season (Spring, or Summer... definitely not winter!), but so many things about it are favorites:
New clothes... I always lived and died by my back to school outfit, and it’s a tradition I still keep, something special to wear that first day back from labor day, or the long summer vacation... this year a new Ulla Johnson dress with an old pair of jeans I can (finally) wear again (I love Bikram).
Often, a new haircut although, really, it’s always about my latest take of David Bowie’s haircut on the cover of Low...

Checking in on goals that I never really set until February, at the dawn of Spring, and reviewing my life list, and adjusting the budget.

Fall food is my favorite, an opportunity for big complex flavors, but it’s not cold, and it’s not all root vegetables yet, and it’s not so hot that I can’t stand to cook. Chili, Roast Pork, French Meatloaf, Espresso Cashew Bars, Lasagne, bliss.

But having a child, a family, has changed some of this. It’s made me a little more conscious of the rhythms of nature, it’s helped me slow down and open my eyes to the change in the air, which is a little subtler here in our marine-layer-blanketed city on the west coast. Really, September is still summer for us. And yet it’s bittersweet, a short summer.

Next month, October, is a big time for commemoration here: day of the dead, halloween, Cleanup day at the AIDS Memorial Grove, the names read out on All Saints Sunday. This October I think we’ll take J to Mission Dolores, too, his first visit... and perhaps a historic walk around the neighborhood.

November brings my birthday, and of course Thanksgiving, but my favorite thing about the month is the Beaujolais Noveau, so yummy and so fun. This year I think we’ll drive up to wine country here, for the harvest celebration at our CSA farm.

We spent today on our annual fall hike (it’s too hot for me to hike in the summer, I am too fair and get sunstroke easily), and next week we’ll set off for the Monarch preserve and the migrating butterflies... something I’ve wanted to do ever since I read Dear Mr. Henshaw. I don’t know why I couldn’t go until I had J as an “excuse”, but I am grateful to have one.

 And an excuse to buy little boy back to school clothes, an excuse for looking for the harvest moon, for planning a camping trip, for slowing down and enjoying the seasons-- as different as they may be here from anywhere else, wherever we are.

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