The crisp breeze is blowing through the open window and rustling the curtains. The heat of the day slips out the windows, and the house is refreshed with the clear, night air. Although tonight is not the first night we’ve turned off the AC and slept with the windows open, it is the first night that it feels like fall. Summer’s coming to an end and before we know it, we’ll be immersed in autumn.
I went in to school today and felt excited, rejuvenated by the summer and ready to go back to the job I love. I ran into a few of last year’s students, there to give tours to incoming freshman. They were as excited to see me as I was to see them. I got to hear about their summer adventures and their excitement about coming back to new courses. I’ll see a few of them in my electives, and I even have one girl doing an independent study in zoology, which will be fascinating for both of us. My classroom is clean and fresh, and the greenhouse is empty and waiting for students to fill it with flowers and vegetables.
Yesterday I saw a maple tree beginning to change colors. I was headed to my parents’ house to pick a few ears of corn for supper, and I gasped as I saw the vibrant yellows and oranges of the neighbor’s maple tree. Is it that time already? As I drove up their driveway past the apple orchard, I spotted the hints of red on the Macouns, slowly ripening and waiting to be picked. The pumpkins are beginning to turn orange in the field, and the cool fall nights will beckon for a slice of warm apple or pumpkin pie.
Fall at the farm is our busiest time. Before long, our orchards will be filled with smiling families coming to pick apples and select the perfect pumpkin. Children will delight in a hayride around the farm, through the orchards, down through the woods, by the river, and, for the first time, under the newly constructed covered bridge by the pond. Families will share a run through the hay maze, sip cider and eat some pie a la mode or caramel apples. My family members will spend our weekends at the farm, leaving each Saturday and Sunday night exhausted from the busy day. We’ll take home the leftover pies, if there are any, and enjoy them. We’ll each return to our normal jobs on Monday, knowing that unlike our coworkers, we did not have a restful weekend. The reality of a New England farm is that we have to work hard to keep the doors open, and we all need to have other jobs. The fall is the final leg of the marathon, until we close for the winter.
I love all of the New England seasons, but I especially like fall because it means back to school, foliage, apples, pumpkins, pies, hayrides, and fairs. In addition, for the first time, I’m planning a fall garden. So, while I’m sad to feel the chill in the air and know that my summer is over, I’m looking forward to fall.