In honor of the autumnal equinox, I threw together a top ten list of reasons autumn is awesome-sauce. This is true in the literal sense as well, of course, because autumn means amazing cinnamon applesauce. Even though autumn leads to winter, typically my most depression-prone season, I can’t help but love this time of year. Autumn means sweater weather, spooky books and movies, fall foliage, and silly costumed celebrations with delicious candy, apples, and pumpkin-flavored-everything. Since I love scary novels, this is also the time of year when I can curl up with hot cider and read the latest scary story (or pull some beloved Gothic classics from the shelf).
10. Fall Foliage
In the Pacific Northwest, fall doesn’t mean saying goodbye to all greenery. Yes, the greenery decreases, but we’re still surrounded by the evergreen curtains of the surrounding forests during the winter months. This makes it less difficult for me to witness the leaves burning out like phoenix feathers in brilliant orange, red, and yellow flames. Nature amazes me on a daily basis, but during the fall months, I’m amazed hourly. (I’ll be sure to post more pictures to prove this when I locate our memory card reader.)
Yes, it’s just televised fiction, but still, I think we’re all happy when we can stop watching reruns on cable and binge-watching Hulu & Netflix. We can all return to our regularly programmed forays into the fictional lives of our favorite fake friends and foes.
Plus the Halloween episodes and cheesy holiday movies will start playing soon. If you’re like me, you’re also counting down the days until we get to return to Stars Hollow see what Rory and Lorelai Gilmore have been reading and doing. Best of all, Melissa McCarthy will be in the episodes too!
8. Spooky Stories
I could write a post just about this. But for now, I’ll just say Bronte-binges, Frankenstein fun, Dracula, Edgar Allan everything, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Anne Rice reads, Stephen King-a-palooza, MacBeth, & Medea. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
7. Cozy Clothes
I love shorts, t-shirts, and beachwear as much as the next gal. Even though I’m slow to put away the sunscreen and sandals, pulling out the big cozy sweaters, soft scarves, and silly socks definitely makes up for it.
6. Costume Craze
With Halloween quickly approaching, we all get to stop being serious adults for a time and pretend to be our favorite superhero, pet, object, cartoon character, toy, or whatever we want! I love browsing thrift stores and Halloween stores imagining the different lives or personalities I could try on. I’m still waiting for the cat-collecting-heroic-librarian-by-day-witch/vampire-slayer-by-night costume to appear on the racks. But if you’re crafty, you get to create your own costume.
5. Pumpkin Picking
Growing up, my parents used to take us to a pumpkin farm outside of town where there were caramel apples and haunted corn mazes. Remember how frightened you would get as a kid, but then you’d spot your parents, they’d hug you, and you’d feel totally safe again? Well, as an adult I’m constantly humming with anxiety and worries about practical concerns, but I no longer get terribly frightened about monsters or ghosts.
As a result, I don’t often get those enveloping hugs of reassurance from a calm caretaker. That’s as it should be but I do like this scary season because I get to scream my head off at something silly again. Also because I get to turn to friends or family for a reassuring squeeze or a knowing laugh. It’s a nice reminder that we’re all terrified sometimes but we still have each other to turn to for a safe harbor in the storm. It’s just a big bonus that in autumn those moments involve festive farms and tasty treats.
4. Freaky Films
Although I usually prefer books, films tend to be more effective at scaring the crap out of me. Films engage more senses and it’s more of a physical experience, which I think is essential for an authentic fear response. Once in a while, I just want to curl up in the pitch dark and watch some skinny chick run for her life from a masked maniac. I wonder if there is some biological or evolutionary reason for that. I don’t hunt or kill, but I enjoy the simulated cinematic experience now and then? Humans are the freakiest.
3. Fun with Fire
Autumn is the season to sit by campfires after a hayride, to roast marshmallows, and watch the moon rise. It’s the time to sit by a fire and listen to the logs snap and the kindling crackle. The time to surround yourself with friends, jump in crisp leaves and inhale the cool autumn air. Bonfire season, smores season, stories-around-a-fire season.
2. Marvelous Moonlight
One of my favorite hobbies is photography and I’ve always had a strange obsession with the moon. So the “light of the silvery moon” is near the top of my list (only to be trumped by my stubborn stomach). The moon itself is mesmerizing, but I also love the soft silvery beams that shine a soft white light on the black silhouette of night. Moonlight produces an ethereal air, as though we’ve entered another world, a wilder, more dangerous, but also more wondrous world than possible in daylight. There is also a romantic and private feel to moonlight. Since you cannot see beyond your immediate surroundings, you’re free to be and do as you please. But then, that is where the danger is too.
1. Friggin Fantastic Food!
Most of all, I love autumn because its’ harvest produces the yummiest food around: pumpkin pie/lattes/ice cream, hot apple cider with cinnamon, smores, caramel apples, caramel corn, applesauce/pie/cobbler, casseroles, soups, spiced tea, hot & spicy Chai, Halloween candy, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, and on and on until I have to change pant sizes after all that effort to slim down in the summer. Worth it.