Saturday, October 9, 2010
Shades of Edith
We have reached October and thus my favorite time of year: fall. There is something about it- the changing of the seasons and the way that the world explodes in vibrant colors is so intoxicating. There's a crisp breeze in the air and everything feels fresh. My inner foodie dreams of frolicking naked in a ball pit of fresh picked pumpkins, apples and squash. In Hovd all of the leaves turn a luscious gold color, lining the streets with brilliant flaxen cascades. And later, when the leaves drift downward, they litter the ground to like a wild west miner's sweetest dream. I can't help but shuffle through the leaves on the side of the road, relishing the organic smell and the familiar crunch. Feeling the foliage underfoot and the wind on my face conjures memories of autumns past. I don't quite know why wanderlust sets in so steadfastly in fall. Maybe it's the wind, maybe it's the drop in temperature or maybe it's something purely biological that is so invigorating; perhaps it is simply nature making my bones yearn for motion. When I was growing up, the chill in the air signaled to my family to load up the car and head to Highlands, North Carolina for long weekends filled with hiking, long dinners and boutique scouring. Later, in college, I drove with friends to Ultimate Frisbee tournaments where we played til we dropped- only the prospect of later parties put us back on our feet. And last year, in perhaps my fondest of fall field trips, college girlfriends and I would head up to Gettysburg, PA to visit one of my best friends, Ashton. Making the leaves swirl in our wake, we drove through long conversations and soulful ipod singalongs, then subsequently tore apart the antique town with debauchery and girl talk. No words can really describe how strange it is to eat a rather tequila saturated brunch at a table across from Civil War reenactors dressed to the nines. Once we even went to the local Apple Festival. So bumping over dirt roads on the way to a neighboring province for Eagle Festival last week felt right, foraying out into the world to see something new with the autumn breeze at our backs. Gazing out at the stark landscape I was moved to listen to Edith Pilaf's 'Autumn Leaves'- a classic for any time of year, but espeically apropos now. Her deep warble washed over me and transported me to a different place and time. It drew my mind back to a half forgotten place I didn't expect: fall two years ago when a friend and I spent a week in France. Visions of autumn leaves falling over street markets, delicate marble facades and classic scenes along the Seine, complete with street painters and lovers nestled into their scarves, floated in front of the rocky hills before me. It was a wonderful trip, I don't think you can ever go wrong staying in the French Quarter and exploring Paris on the cheap with other youngsters. My memories from that time are truly escapist and I allowed myself to become saturated in them. Thinking about autumn journeys past made me anticipate later trips and the six hour journey was easily passed with fantasies about forays with friends State-side and wondering what fun there will be next year when I venture southward. It is truly comforting to know that fall will always come, though I will probably not be in the same place for any length of time in the foreseeable future. But looking forward to fall and the vigor that it brings is a wonderful constant no matter where I find myself. It imparts the same richness of feeling and feast for the senses the world over- across oceans and over thousands of miles. And now, as I sit at my desk, smiling at the adventures of years past and wondering what future Octobers hold, I can't help but gaze at the leaves bathing in sunlight and luxuriate in the aureate glow.