Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Summer's Gone

Fall is undoubtedly here. The air is brisk. Leaves are beginning to cover the ground everywhere I walk now.

Another summer's come and gone, and what a tumultuous summer it was for me. I won't go into those details again. If you've been reading here at all, you know what's happened over the past few months.

Life-changing, to say the least. Some bad, some beyond amazing.

Growing up, I always loved the summer. What kid doesn't? School ended. Beach trips. Pool parties. Playing outside all day, every day. Non-stop sports. Water gun fights. Building tree houses. And my birthday is in the summer, too.

I mean, come on. That's awesome.

As I get older, I find myself gravitating toward fall more and more for a variety of reasons. The heat breaks, and the windows stay open. Running outside doesn't feel like I'm being waterboarded. College football is back. I can smell the first hint of fires in fireplaces around the neighborhood.

And I always connect the fall with falling in love. The last three girls I've seriously dated all began as fall romances.

I know the entire natural world feels that way about the spring, but when have I ever done things by the book? Don't get me wrong, I love the spring, too. But for the past seven or eight years, the fall has always felt different and special to me.

When the weather first gets cool in the fall, it smells different. And when I smell the first hints of fall air, I remember long walks around campus at night, staring at the stars for hours on end. Lying in the grass, contemplating the mysteries of the universe until almost dawn.

When the colors of fall invade the foliage, I think of long drives with the windows down, just to be in the same place alone together, feeling the cool air rush all around us with nothing but trees along the side of the road.

Lying on the cold cement of the bleachers from the old stadium on campus with our breath forming in puffs, looking out across the parking lot and wondering what it was like 50 years earlier when they still played football there. Breaks my heart to know the bleachers aren't there any more. Progress ain't always so great.

Or that first night we met for drinks just to say hello. A cool drizzle was falling, and I was so nervous my heart was in my stomach. I wore the nicest shirt I owned to work that day. Despite the increasing chill in the air, I could feel the heat in my cheeks as my head spun when I saw you walk up. I didn't know whether to hug you or shake your hand. I don't even remember what I did. I can't imagine how awkward whatever I did must have been. And then meeting over drinks turned into almost five hours of awesome conversation, dinner and the promise of so much more.

I guess it's pretty obvious I'm a romantic at heart, through and through. Is it any wonder I love the fall so much when these are the things that come to mind?

The relationships all ended for one reason or another. Life gets in the way, as it is wont to do. There are certainly less-than-happy memories as well, but these are the things that make me happy -- these are the things I remember.

These memories always bring a smile to my face, no matter how things may have ended up later on. I'm sure it's just been a coincidence that has led to them all occurring in the fall. But because of that, the fall brings a rush of joy with it when it sweeps in with rustling leaves.

This isn't sad story at all, so please keep that in mind. Fall is fast becoming my favorite season, though, and when it rolls through with it's assault on the senses, a lot of happy memories come with it -- moments forever frozen in time for which I have nothing but pleasant feelings.

Fall, it's good to see you again, old friend, and already overflowing with so much promise and excitement in so many different ways. Can't wait to see what you have in store for me this year.


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