My favorite season begins in the United States with the autumnal equinox at 11:09 EDT tonight.
So many of the things that made fall so special in years gone by have disappeared from my life:
Football. I lost interest in football about the time Archie Manning left Ole Miss to join the New Orleans Saints. Too much hype and too much money involved. Takes the sport out of it.
The Mississippi State Fair. This great delight of my growing-up years marked the very day that it turned cold in Mississippi – a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of Southern summer days.
School days. This was back in the days when children actually started school in the fall. I remember sorting through my newly purchased school supplies – writing tablets, workbooks, poster paints, pencils and book satchel – and counting the days until school began again.
Halloween. My kid brother Isaac and I trick-or-treating over a three-mile radius of home, then divvying up the sackfuls of our favorites candies, cookies and fruits. My own efforts to make this the favorite holiday of my two boys. In the early years in my apartment here, thousands of children came through this complex, and no matter how well-stocked, we always ran out of candy before we ran out of kids. In recent years, trick-or-treaters no longer ring my doorbell – they’re all at the mall or some church-sponsored "fall festival" considered safer than going door-to-door.
The Anderson County Fair. One of the great pleasures of this neighborhood, beginning for me in 1985, was the county fair’s location – right outside my front door. I cannot put into words the excitement in the air during fair week – the sights, the sounds, the smells – and sitting on our front porch each night to enjoy the concerts and fireworks – for free! After three consecutive years of being rained out, the county dropped the fair. Anderson University (formerly Anderson College) has purchased the fairground property, and rumor has it there might be a football stadium in the works. So, the air might once more be filled with fall excitement.
Fall foliage. Oh, how I miss the colors of fall’s “cheerful and changeful page.” The deepest wines, the reds, the flaming oranges and the yellows are in my mind’s eye.
One thing is a constant: walking outside at sunrise to the sound of birdsong, the call of the wild goose and the feel of cool, brisk breezes on my skin. At this autumn moment, nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning!