When I first moved to America, the whole concept of fall seemed kind of strange to me. Besides the fact that we call it Autumn in the UK and that we didn’t really have seasons in Dubai, I didn’t really get why Americans were so obsessed with this season. I know it sounds so pretentious as the international, but truly in my first fall here, I would see people get so excited about pumpkin flavored lattes and muffins and I was so confused. People would talk about all the fall items at Trader Joes and I was like, what is the obsession with cinnamon and pumpkin?
Now, in my third fall in the US, I really love this season and what it represents. As I’m writing this, today felt like the first real day of fall with crisp air and a light breeze sweeping the yellow and orange leaves from the trees. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m on fall break (the “break” being just a long weekend) but I feel so happy that the seasons are finally changing – I just wanted to spend all day outside! The air just feels so much cleaner, and I don’t mean that in a cheesy way… the air was not humid for the first time since the spring which was such a treat.
At first, I was really sad to see the summer come to an end. I’ve written about the past summer I spent here in DC and how much I enjoyed it, and I was kind of not loving the transition back to school life and the thought of cooler temperatures and shorter days. However… I do have to say that I love the festivity that fall brings. I’ve always been a sucker for any kind of festive season. When I lived in London, that festive time was definitely Christmastime; we’d see the city come to life and throngs of people happy and excited out and about (which, believe me, is rare for Brits). I loved Christmas and the holidays, but more than that I think that I just loved how everyone around me was happy and excited and found a way to make the mundane things special with a little sprinkle of festivity. I think that’s how I feel about fall in the US; the mundane is just a little more fun and enjoyable once you add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a slice of pumpkin!
I love how as soon as October comes, I’ll walk around Georgetown and see all the fall wreaths on the doors of the Georgetown townhouses and the pumpkins on the steps. Our little kitchen in our townhouse is filled with the scent of pumpkin bread baking and of course, it’s time for the annual pumpkin patch/apple picking trip. I like what this season symbolizes for me; it’s a new part of my American identity! It might sound silly, but I love that I’m now able to make fall festivities a part of what I look forward to in these months because of the time I’ve spent out here.
I mentioned that at first I didn’t love the thought of leaving summer, going back to school/work, and knowing that the days are only going to get colder/shorter. But… I will say that just as my perception of this season has shifted, my mindset about it had also shifted. To me, I think fall represents another opportunity to prove myself and put in the work that will pay off. Fall is always a season of many midterms and just general hard work, and yes that’s not ideal. But I also like to see it as an opportunity to prove myself and challenge myself. If we didn’t put in the hard work, those rest periods wouldn’t seem as sweet! Also, that hard work and grind doesn’t feel as bad when there’s a festive mood in the air!
So this season, as I enjoy my last fall at Georgetown I’m soaking it all in. I’ve had some pumpkin bread, drank some spiced chai, and lit my toasted pumpkin candle every evening. As you’re reading this, I’m on my way to the annual pumpkin patch trip and as soon as all the leaves start turning, I’ll be going on my annual fall photo walk. So take this blog post as you will, a love letter to fall? A weird rambling of words? A metaphor for growth and new traditions? Whatever it means to you, happy fall! I hope you enjoy the cool breeze, get out your sweaters, and drink some apple cider!
See you next week,