A world with Octobers (And Novembers)

-Kate McPherson
Excellent photo from the botanical gardens by Stephanie

Excellent photo from the botanical gardens by Stephanie

It feels like fall, and I love it.

That is a sentence I can say with great confidence that I have never uttered before in my life.

For most of my life, fall has been one of the most miserable seasons. It’s been a season of allergies, a season of being so sick that I can’t breathe or taste or sleep unless carefully propped up. It’s a season of sitting inside and a season of being forced outside to rake leaves and “enjoy” fall festivals and pumpkin patches, knowing that whatever fun I have in the moment will be greatly overshadowed by the next month of coughing and blowing my nose.

Fall has been a season of brown. I grew up in Texas, where we were taught in school that leaves change colors to gorgeous oranges and reds and yellows. We had to take that on faith, though, because we saw green trees one day, and the next the leaves were dead and on the ground.

But now I live up north (no matter how much Richmonders insist they live in the South, I still think of this as being up north), and fall is different.

First of all, and most importantly, I KNOCK ON WOOD do not seem to be allergic to Richmond yet. Alleluia, friends.

This has not exactly encouraged me to go outside (I would describe myself whole-heartedly as an indoor person), but I’m not too upset to be curled up my bed, smelling my lit Glade candles (only the finest for me, folks) and looking at the orange and red leaves on the branches in our front yard.

It turns out that really wasn’t a myth, by the way, and colorful trees are beautiful. Every time I go anywhere, I am absolutely struck by the colors. Whether I’m out walking in Oregon Hill or driving up 95 to visit my grandparents, I pause and appreciate the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows. (This pause is only metaphorical while driving on 95. I, obviously, put safety above foliage.)

One of my best friends from college got a job in Roanoke, and she came to Richmond to go to the Folk Festival with me. We were walking up Laurel Street and both stopped dead when we saw this tree. Carmen turned to me and said, “I don’t feel like we should be even looking at this tree. It’s too beautiful. We need to be in a romantic comedy in order to see trees like this, right?”


I mean, that is just ridiculous color, am I right?

While I’ll probably never be all Anne of Green Gables and be “so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers,” I have to say that the season is growing on me, slowly but surely. I am at least mildly pleased to live in a world where there are Octobers (and Novembers).

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