Saturday, September 23, 2006

And just like that, fall is here.

Last Tuesday was so muggy my Deviance professor (not "deviant professor", that would be Michael Clow), Stephanie Bruce, had to open the door that goes outside to get a cross-breeze. We were all melting out of our clothes, even those of us in skirts and tank tops. By Thursday, though, in the same class, we were all bundled up and glad to be inside. The sun was shining but the wind had a bite.

The air is crisp, you can smell wood-smoke in it, and the leaves are starting to turn. I wear my apple-red Sew Inclined hat and my silver bracelets as I walk along the sidewalks of Fredericton, and every now and again, as it did this morning, the sky spits a little, just enough to get your coat spotty, and bead on the wool of your hat, but not enough to drench, to freeze. I wear Mum's knitted socks inside my Birks and don't care if not a single fashionista would do the same. After all, even Vogue this month is extolling the qualities of Fall:

"In Autumn those sense-memory-charged pleasures are even more intense. You draw a pair of opaque tights (black or maple-red or apple-green) from the package and remember that boy who took your hand at the fifth-grade square dance. You slip a sweaterdress over your shoulders, rub the cashmere sleeve against your cool cheek, and think of Mom. A new tweed coat smells of clean wool. An armful of gold bangles clicks and clatters with the sound of a woman setting seriously back to business. October...couldn't you just shiver?"

For October, read September, and for gold bangles, read silver. What cracks me up about that paragraph --at the same time as the aesthete in me revels in every image in the panoply that is Vogue-- is that as carefree and "Fall"-like as it's meant to sound, it was carefully put together by the style editors, crafted to evoke memories and sensations, and ultimately, use those delightful associations of Autumn with new clothes to part rich and not-so-rich women from their money, in the great big happy wheel of economy that Vogue services so beautifully. But no matter. When this is my weekend treat, I'm not going to scratch too deeply beneath the surface.

The point is, I adore fall. It's my favorite season. The best things about it are free: rosy cheeks, mingling outside among bundled families at the Saturday market, looking at the array of pumpkins, gourds, red peppers, broccoli, apples, cranberries. Making a big pot of soup at home and listening to some spicy salsa music (my suggestion: Jesse Cook) at the same time. And speaking of color, there's also Celtic Colors, where this year I'm going to get to see Flook, that energetic flute-centred band from the UK that Catriona and I adored the first time around. With my red hat on, of course.

So when the weather forecasters say things like "Cloudy with periods of rain, winds South 30 km/hr, High 17", I get excited. I fire up the soup pot. I go walk in Odell. I'm happy to be inside with my books. I turn on the Be Good Tanyas, who are good year round but particularly suited to autumnal weather.

Why do you like Fall?

(PS. Thanks to Marlo for the photograph. She took it in Odell Park, last year. She's a fantastic photographer, and lucky for me, allows me to use some of her images to show you guys.)

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