Here in Miami we only have three seasons: hot, hotter, and intolerably hot and humid. There’s no end to it, even when a breeze dispels, if only for a moment, the wet blanket of humidity that seeps into the body making even the coolest person sweat.
If you’re a seasonal and live in Florida only during the “cool” winter months, then you don’t have to contend with the oppressive and stifling heat summer unleashes upon us. Only at the beach, is summer a pleasant contemplation. There I enjoy swimming in the ocean for hours, floating on the surface as an ocean breeze cools my slow-roasted skin.
Round August, or ten days after Labor Day, to be exact, I start missing fall in New England. When I lived in New York City, fall was my favorite time of year. I could feel it in the air, the turn of season, when summer gave way to cooler evenings, shorter days, and the change of color on trees. On weekends, I enjoyed traveling to the Poconos or Catskills to enjoy the foliage—spectacular reds, oranges, yellows, and browns that blanketed the mountains for miles as far as the eye could see.
This was a time for hot ciders, sweaters, leather jackets, boots, and hikes along trails hidden under a carpet of dry leaves. In the evenings, fireplaces were lit, and cuddling on the couch was the way to spend the evening—reading books or feeling frisky under a warm blanket! Windows were left open, and I indulged on the smell of burning leaves, woods, and mud. Road trips to small town antique stores were compulsory on weekends, as were harvesting apples, pears and seasonal fruits that herald the harvest season. At night, stews and hearty meals replaced salads and sandwiches for dinner and one could once again enjoy a hearty Cote d’Rhone or Pinot Noir instead of a sangria or Lambrusco.
I miss fall and the change of seasons; I miss its colors and assault on the senses. Living in a state and city where weather patterns and forecasts are reduced to either sunny or rainy days, the lack of variety—or anticipation to change—only heightens my longing for fall. When I look in my closet at the jackets, boots, sweaters, and scarves I’d be wearing around this time of year, it pains me to pull a pair of shorts and T-shirt before venturing outside. When I see photos of friends on road trips to the places I used to visit this time of years, a tinge of sadness settles in my heart.
I won’t be able to make it north this year to visit and appreciate this season’s fall weather. But every time I see this photo, I’m reminded of one of the many reasons I fell in love with New England and Maine. There, in those mountains and lakes, lost in carnival of color that nature unfurled and revealed to us in so many of our road trips, I came to understand and enjoy the beauty of each season. If I close my eyes, I can imagine the cool breeze reddening my cheeks, the tug of my scarf around my neck, and the taste of pear cider (with a shot of rum or brandy) in my lips.
Ah, autumn…how I long for thee!