Let’s Talk Process: Autumn
I love fall. Not just because of everything pumpkin (which I do, generally enjoy). Not only for the glorious colors, though damn, are they glorious here in Western PA. Not simply because of Halloween and the candy it brings (which I like but to which my ass is generally opposed). I love fall for a thousand reasons (fleece, sweaters, apple picking, hot chocolate, pie, being able to turn the oven on without dying), an essential one of which is: autumn is the time of year when it becomes acceptable to spend a greater amount of time indoors.
I am not anti-outside. I like outside. I liked green and trees and flowers and grass. I love that my kids (2 and 4) already love laying on their backs and looking up at, or staring out the car windows at, the clouds and telling us what they see hidden in the white puffs (typically dragons or dinosaurs, but not exclusively). I don’t mind bugs, squirrels are sort of funny, and we get cool birds at our bird feeders.
There is, however, great pressure in spring and summer to be outside “while it’s
nice.” As though that niceness will never come again. As though this summer is the last summer that will ever be, after which we will all be left wandering in eternal winter gnawing on polar bear jerky. Okay, fine, more likely, the polar bears will be gnawing on us jerky, but you can see where I’m coming from.
A lot of that pressure comes off in the fall. It’s cool (which I actually enjoy, but I’m weird). It rains a lot. It gets light later and dark earlier. Sometimes there is slushy stuff on the sidewalk. Nature gets her kit off and rattles creepily in the wind.
Which makes it a perfect time to buckle down and get some fucking writing (and/or reading) done.
I lived in Oregon for four years. I don’t mind rain. But no one likes being cold and wet. So instead of taking that evening walk, maybe I’ll do a couple of sprints. Still dark when I have to take the boy to school? Maybe I don’t walk every day, maybe I drive once a week so we can leave a little later and I can throw down a few extra words before we leave. Blah day? Comic books for everyone! Fluffy blankets? That random novel sitting on my shelf I’ve been meaning to get to.
Many people find autumn depressing and dreary. I never have but, then, I grew up in New England and Upstate New York and I’m used to it. I like living somewhere with four seasons, which is why Oregon didn’t suit me (raining or not) and I could never be a Southerner (bad enough to sweat for four or five months, ten would kill me). Quiet and still, yes, and in that way, comforting. My body has had it’s six months out of the cocoon, now it’s my brain’s turn.
So. Yay for fall!
And all things pumpkin.