September 30, 2022

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Seasonal Impression

Autumn is the time when you hear chestnuts, acorns and dried leaves crunching underfoot. It is also the time when gingko berries crunch underfoot and then you smell something that will bring you out of your autumn reverie pretty quickly.

Go back to the office smelling of crunched gingko berries and coworkers will conclude that autumn is hitting you hard, and not in a good way.

Autumn is a time when people buy a lot of pumpkins, squashes and gourds without really understanding the differences between pumpkins, squashes and gourds.

Maybe that’s just me.

Autumn is allegedly a time when people bob for apples. I have never bobbed for apples. I have never seen anyone bob for apples. I have never seen “bobbing for apples” offered as an activity.

At this stage of my life (sometimes referred to as “the autumn,” now that I think of it), I am less inclined to believe that “bobbing for apples” is a real thing than I am that to believe that Bob Forapples is a real person.

Autumn is a metaphorical cornucopia of things. It’s a metaphorical cornucopia that contains literal cornucopias. Also, pumpkin-spice-flavored things.

If you think this is going to be another one of those autumnal columns where a writer foments against pumpkin-spice-flavored things, I am not your huckleberry.

I am not even your gingko berry.

I have a hard time either getting incensed over, or excited about, pumpkin-spice-flavored things.

I have never even tasted a pumpkin-spice-flavored thing, except pumpkin pie, which is not among my favorite flavors of pie.

I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.

I am indifferent toward it.

Some people complain that most pumpkin-spice-flavored things have no actual pumpkin in them, but I haven’t seen anybody order pureed pumpkin at the smoothie bar.

I am all for letting people enjoy their pumpkin-spice-flavored things, whether they contain actual or simulated pumpkin.

People enjoying pumpkin-spice-flavored things does not raise my ire. They don’t even stir my interest.

I am indifferent toward their love of all things pumpkin-spice-flavored.

I must admit, however, that I would stare intently at someone who was holding a tumbler of warm, unfiltered, pureed pumpkin and espousing eagerness at the prospect of swallowing it.

I’m only human after all.

I am not eager to bid farewell to the days when a person can sit comfortably with friends out on restaurant patios.

But I am not dreading autumn.

People equate autumn with death because of the dying of the leaves, but I have always found it to be a hopeful season.

New romances always started for me in the autumn because of fall semesters. I am sure this is still true for people who are a lot younger (and less married) than I am now.

According to scientific studies, autumn is the season when we gain the most weight and the season when testosterone levels are at their highest.

We all become our best selves: Plush, sexy people.

Autumn may be our most visually beautiful season, and I don’t just mean the plush, sexy people.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf’s a flower,” wrote Albert Camus.

I used to live in Massachusetts, and I very much missed autumn in New England after I first moved here.

What New England has that Indiana doesn’t is topography. Rolling hills and the like.

But New England also has “leaf peepers.” That’s a term that people who live in New England use to refer to people who come to New England to look at fall foliage.

The term always bugged me. On one hand, it was too cutesy-pie. On the other, it sounded sort of creepy.

“‘Ayuh, I suppose the botanical voyeurs will be coming from away to leer at our trees wicked soon,’ the Maine shop owner said to his wife
in August.”

I don’t think I have heard that phrase since I moved to Indiana, and I am glad.

What am I getting at here?

I am not sure.

It’s just that my Facebook feed was filled all summer with autumn lovers cursing the heat and summer lovers cursing the coming cold.

No one was on the fence.

Well, I am advocating for the fence.

If you decide that you hate a season, there is no chance that you will get anything but misery from it.

Why not try indifference instead?

Having no expectations is preferable to expecting the worst.

Autumn may surprise you if you are merely indifferent toward it.


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