Every year with the cool, crisp mornings and the autumn leaves I feel very nostalgic. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but every year it creeps up on me out of nowhere and suddenly I miss every place I’ve ever lived during this season.
I miss Southern California where even though it’s the land of eternal sunshine, every October we felt a cool breeze usher in slighty cooler temperatures. I miss the Harvest Festival we had every year, the pancake breakfasts, the hay rides, jumping in the leaves with my sisters, roasted pumpkin seeds and bobbing for apples at our neighborhood Halloween parties.
I miss my small hometown in New Mexico, the beginning of a new school year and all the excitement that came along with it, cheer leader tryouts, the annual parade and fair, Friday night football games where we drank steaming hot chocolate, the bonfires, the Snickers costume my dad made me for Halloween*, and my mom’s chicken and rice soup.
I miss Paris and Milan and warm pain chocolat, hot frothy cappuccinos, finding the American Grocery Store where I stocked up on candy corn, drinking wine with lunch lest you offend your host, traveling every weekend by train to visit as many countries as possible, my birthday dinner atop the Eiffel Tower, Thanksgiving with my family at The Americain Cathedral in Paris and where even a day of cold dreary rain is still beautiful.
I think about New York City and the smell of chestnuts wafting from street carts, brisk walks in Central Park, hopping into a cab just to warm up, the comfort of a restaurant with a fireplace, soft rain, the beauty of the fall foliage on the Hudson River, dodging the weirdos in costumes, my first date with my husband drinking pumpkin beer and playing guitar on a clear October evening, and most of all that magical year I had a brand new baby and everything was all at once vivid and a blur.
And I think about today and the new memories we are making. I wonder if my son will feel as homesick as I do when he’s older and the leaves start to turn.
How about you? Does this time of year make you feel the same way? I’d love to hear from you.
*I’ve always loved chocolate. So much so, that I dressed up as chocolate not once, but twice for Halloween. The other time I was a package of M&Ms.