Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CafeWriting: Seven Things

This prompt comes from CafeWriting by way of MissMeliss: "Give me seven of your favorite things about Autumn." I think I'd like to pick up some of the other prompts before the month is over, but this seemed like an easy place to start.

1. Even though the modern food reality is one where we can eat anything we want whenever we want, the autumnal foods like pumpkin and apples have a particular appeal around this time, like there's something coded in our genes that loves these foods more when the leaves are changing color, when the air is getting crisp, and when these foods are actually in season. I love pumpkin pies, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and especially pumpkin rolls. I love apple cider, apple pies, and especially apple crisp.

2. I love being reminded of John Keats this time of year, particularly his poem "To Autumn," which I had to memorize as an undergrad. Broad swatches of it have, evidently, been harvested from my mind, leaving only stubble, but that just means I have to look it up. Most of the first stanza is still there, and I love the lines "or by a cyder press, with patient look, / Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours" (yeah, I had to look it up) and "Where are the songs of spring? Aye, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too." (No, not that one)

3. Football season. It's about as arbitrary and about as rational as believing the religion you grew up with, but I love football. I love the sport, I love cheering for my teams, and fall is the time of new beginnings. I don't get too over-the-top about my fandom, but I love football season.

4. I actually like the cool-to-cold weather. Today, even as I enjoyed the warm "Indian Summer" day out at the tennis courts, part of me kind of missed the cold day that was the backdrop for our match last Saturday. Yeah, I know it's weird.

5. Speaking of tennis, the high school tennis season is another of the things I love about autumn. I may have loved the girls tennis season in Rhode Island even more, because I was the coach for my girls instead of one of many coaches for my boys, but one way or another I love it. Last Saturday our boys won their Section. Today, they capped off a two-day victory at the Regional level. On Saturday, they will compete at the Semi-State level, and we feel like our chances are good this year of getting down to the State tournament as a team. What's not to be excited about?

6. Indulging in nostalgia. You saw it there in #5--without even meaning to, I found myself full of wist for a bygone era. Autumn in its natural state has all the metaphorical trappings necessary for a look back over what has been, because it's a time of transition toward The End that winter brings, because it's an analogy for old age.

7. I'm looking forward to the abundance of fallen leaves, because I know that our 21-month-old is going to love them. She's going to have so much fun with big piles of dead leaves--I just know it!

What about you? What are your seven things?

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