My husband and I have been in America since early July, staying with family on Cape Cod, MA and visiting friends throughout New England. With our return to Australia less than one week away I find myself growing nostalgic, especially with the changing season.
Growing up in the U.S. northeast, autumn was always my favorite time of year. The weather makes me feel so alive – cool crisp breezes, warm sun, the sky an electric shade of cobalt and filled with plumes of fair-weather clouds.
But there’s something else. Something in the air I can’t define. I think if I were blind I’d still know when autumn came in New England. Even without seeing the pumpkins on every doorsteps, the mums in every garden, the leaves flitting down like so many frenzied monarch butterflies.
As I set out for my walk this morning I found myself inhaling deeply, eager to breath in the rich blend of damp earth and fallen leaves overlaid with a hint of wood smoke. There probably isn’t an apple tree for miles but I swear I could smell one!
And is it also my imagination or do the leaves sound different than they did all summer? It’s possible I suppose since they’re losing moisture, becoming more brittle as they change color. I’ve already noticed the rain sounds different here than in Australia, a fact I can only put down to the leaves of deciduous trees being softer and more delicate than those of eucalypts.
Autumn is bittersweet, my Dad used to say and as I savor my final days in New England I have to agree. Summer is ending but with a grande finale of color and sensation equal to any Fourth of July fireworks.
A part of me wishes I could stay to see Christmas in the snow. To linger in this place where my parents were born and are now laid to rest. But I have children in another place and it’s time to go.
Till next time New England…