The Fluttering of Fall


Margaret Sprigg-Dudley, '22, Contributor

People claim that the start of fall is around the 20th of September, but that’s wrong. The start of fall is when my cat starts sleeping on my bed at night. Fall is the only time of year she does it; every other season is reserved for my parent’s bed. Whatever season it is is my favorite, so when I wake up to a cat-shaped lump at my feet, I know my favorite season has arrived.

People who don’t live around deciduous trees are deprived, even if they don’t realize it. Yellow, orange, red, brown. Colliding colors surround you as you walk. Colors are the first thing you see on your morning drive. Colors are there when you drive back home. Colors, colors, colors. It’s a progression. First you see bits of color on certain trees, but before you know it, color is everywhere. No tree is static: a single leaf goes through a whole lifecycle. Finally, late fall comes, and the trees are nearly bare. But that means winter will be here soon, and I can’t help but smile.

My yard has a ton of trees, which gives way to a ton of leaves. Currently, the ground in my backyard is red; no grass can be seen. What does lots of leaves mean? Huge leaf piles. Seven, eight feet tall, and nearly double that wide. Leaf piles will always be a fond memory from my childhood: doing cartwheels into it, burying my brother, getting buried, climbing my way to the top, playing ‘hide the shoe,’ and freaking out that I would never find my shoe again. But now I look back on it with a tinge of sadness. It’s only been a few years since my brother moved out; it’s only been a few years since the leaves started going right to the curb. It’s the younger sibling’s curse: childhood traditions die younger. Fall will continue to be my favorite, but the memories will always be bittersweet.

Another sign of fall is the coming of the cold weather. The air smells crisp, the wind has a bite, and the fall wardrobe is in. My favorite new piece of attire? Beanies. Beanies are great for keeping warm in the winter, but they accompany the fall vibe better. I can identify where I got each of my beanies: at the mall with a friend, at a white elephant, and on vacation in Alaska. Not only do my beanies come out, but it’s also sweater weather. Sweaters, cardigans, flannels. I love it.

With new clothes comes new food as well. To start, there is the rise of caramel. Pumpkin gets a lot of credit, but caramel apples are truly a star. That doesn’t mean pumpkin doesn’t deserve its hype though. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee. Every year my family makes pumpkin pie: we go through the whole process of making the puree from an actual pumpkin instead of buying the cans. Pumpkin coffee, on the other hand, is a new obsession of mine. I used to actively avoid pumpkin coffee because I did not want to be basic, but recently I’ve learned to embrace it. Pumpkin is good. The colder weather encourages the warmer drinks: there is nothing like hot pumpkin coffee or warm apples cider on a cold fall day.

October is peak fall, but November has its charm too. The leaves are a little browner as we prepare for the winter season. It’s a good in between time, like the wrap up of another successful fall. Soon it will be winter, and we will be settling into warm blankets, fires, and a snow dusted world.