Fall became my favorite time of year when I moved to Southwest Virginia six years ago. Before, the transition after summer was so gradual that it was a bit unremarkable. But the mountains change something, and, one night, the warm air just says, “I’m done,” and hibernates.
The cold air swoops in to say, “Did you miss me?” and, in a beautiful chorus of smiling faces and knit sweaters and tall boots, Southwest Virginia screams “yes.”
No one mourns the summer’s departure around these parts. With trees everywhere, all views of our little town transform into a patchwork quilt of oranges and reds and browns and yellows and greens. It takes a bit of self-control for me to not squeal when I walk outside and realize I need a jacket. Customers emphatically declare they want a pumpkin spice latte just because they can, and sitting around a bonfire wrapped in flannel blankets is a staple of the season.
This year, I’m going a bit farther than the glee. I’m focusing on recognizing why this season is simply amazing. It’s the little things, like vibrant leaf changes, friends and family gathering around the television for football, and all sweets infused with cinnamon. But it’s more.