As a child growing up in Pennsylvania, I always loved fall and all the normal “fall” things that went with it: changing leaves, cool crisp days, sweatshirts, pumpkins, apple cider. As an adult, who lives in Arizona, I’ve sometimes missed these things. We don’t have the changing leaves. And we don’t get those cool “fall” days or sweatshirts until at least December.
But what we do get in the fall, mainly in the month of October, is some much anticipated relief from the summer heat. Yes, after four straight months of 100+ temperatures, where I often ask myself why, why, why (do I live here?), right as October hits, I start to remember. Just as my friends and family back in Pennsylvania start bundling up and getting ready to grin and bear a few bone-chilling months, I can finally go back outside again.
Now, fall for me means morning walks outside and taking the kids to the park because finally, finally, finally it’s back into the 80s again. (Yes, after a long summer we rejoice when it’s in the eighties. We may even pull out our jeans again and complain about it being cold at night when the temperatures dip into the sixties.)
I always find it interesting how the different weather creates such different feelings about fall for me. Back in PA, fall always felt like an ending – the last few days of being able to be outside and enjoy the world before it grew cold, frozen; watching the beautiful colors of the leaves just before they died and fell away. But here, in Arizona, fall always feels like a beginning – the start to a season of gorgeous weather, outdoor exercise, sunshine, and fresh dry air. Last week I felt positively cheery and invigorated because I got to start my day off with a morning walk each morning. I got to eat dinner outside on the patio. I got to wear jeans for the first time in six months.
And I love new beginnings. More than I love crunchy leaf piles and sweatshirts. I love them so much, in fact, that after ten years of living in the desert, I actually don’t even really miss all those “fall” things of my childhood anymore.