The train horn blows, and I feel fall in my heart. Does that makes sense? It just happens to me. This tickly feeling in my chest that seems like something is stirring around. It’s like a mixture of excitement and sadness at the same time. Anticipation, regret and fond memories all wrapped into one familiar feeling.
I guess the train horn sounds different in the fall than in the summer or the winter. Probably something to do with the air pressure. Which is why I feel that feeling today. The air is thick with dew, and there was a dense fog advisory this morning. We even saw our first school delay of the new school year running across the bottom of the TV screen this morning – not that it really affects us. Our children are grown and gone – almost. We still have a straggler – twenty-four year old living with us. And our grandchildren live too far away for our weather to be the same.
Fall always evokes a different feeling in my chest. Very nostalgic. I can feel school starting – waiting outside, as a young girl, at the end of the driveway with a light jacket on, the damp dew surrounding me and making my hair curl undesirably. I can feel walking to church in Germany, as I pulled my daughter by the hand and pushed my son’s stroller over the crunchy leaves up the long hill to the church. We had an awesome priest there – young and modern. I remember him telling us that God speaks to us in our dreams. When do you ever hear that in church? It made me like him, because it rang true to me. It’s probably the only sermon I ever remembered.
Anyway, those are the most common and profound memories for me. I am not sure why. But they all hold that same feeling in my chest.
Fall isn’t really here for another month. The summer seems to have flown by. It always does, doesn’t it? Granted, we all know that time technically goes at the same pace – every day, every month and every year, so maybe it is one of those things left from childhood where the summers flew by, since that was the time you felt free of the bondage of school.
I like the thought of fall – the changing leaves, sweatshirt weather, Halloween – it all evokes a feeling of fun, and relief. Relief from the dog days of August.
Although some might see fall as a time of death or dormancy, to me it also means new life. Fall represents a time to let go of the past. Let it fall to the ground in all its golden, brown and fiery red glory. Let it dissolve into the earth and say, “Ahhhhh.” Let it all go and start again.
Some might see spring as the time where they see opportunity and new growth, but there is something about fall that makes me feel like I can release some sort of unseen pressure and just relax. Maybe it’s because I was never a sun worshipper, and the pressure to be tan like all my friends was released when school started, because we didn’t have tanning beds back then. Maybe it has something to do with the release that farmers experience once their crops have been harvested – surely that has to release a huge mass consciousness of relief. Living in a farm community, I can’t imagine that feeling not being felt by even the non-farmers, even if it is just on subconscious level.
The train horn blows again. I take a deep breath and smile. The thought of freezing weather, snow boots and scraping windshields threatens to ruin my anticipation of fall, but I tell it its turn will come. Right now, though, I am gonna bake some zucchini bread, light a pumpkin candle and start planning my Jack-O-Lantern face. It’s so exciting!