I'm sure the majority of you will already know what I'm about to say, but I plan to say it anyway. Because today, love bugs, isn't your every day ordinary Saturday. Oh no. Today is special because it marks the beginning of something wonderful, crisp, cool and beautiful. Today is monumental in the land of Amanda, for it is the very first day of Fall.
Can you hear them? The choir of angels singing? Squint and focus real hard and you'll see them. High in the clouds. Chapping and a swayin' like a Mississippi gospel group on a hot summer Sunday.
Fall is here.
This morning as I woke up, stretched my arms and wriggled in my bed like a worm, I noticed something different. Something I've been looking forward to all year. And as I crawled out of my warm blankets to open the curtains to let the golden morning sunlight trickle into our room, I smiled as the goosebumps on my arms grew like teeny tiny ant hills. Our window, which (as with every night) was cracked, left open ever so slightly, as to welcome the cool evening air inside. There are two things you need to know about me. 1) that I cannot sleep without a fan blowing on my face, and 2) my bedroom window must be cracked open all night long. Thankfully, Carl is easy going and for the entire 10 years we've been together he's never once protested my need for the hum of a fan and fresh air at night (which is good because I'd have told him tough shit. Haha!) I'm one of those people who truly relies on the big, soft, coziness of blankets to keep me warm - I can't sleep in any room that's stuffy, perfectly silent and hot. No sir. Anyway, this morning as I pushed the curtains open, the crisp, damp and slightly musty morning air was refreshing and far cooler than it had been all year. I balanced on my tippy toes to peek through the browning tree leaves outside our window and smiled like Alice's mysterious Cheshire Cat friend as the honk honk honking of geese echoed across the sky. I counted 4 perfectly formed Vs as they danced over our house and I felt that little tingle of happiness that comes every year. That excited, comforting tingle that signifies I can finally celebrate the first day of Fall.
After making myself some toasted poppiseed nutty bread, eating a bowl of tangy raspberries and a sweet banana, I traded my comfy striped pj's for my yoga pants, sports bra and running shoes. As I shut the front door I hummed along to the tune of Free Fallin' by Tom Petty and carefully pressed the 'start' button on my Endomondo and C25k Running apps. Last night I'd planned a lovely 6.27 mile run (my longest so far) around the village and today, on the first day of fall - with the light wind, billowing sunshine and cool temperatures - I let my mind slow down and feet bounce along the pavement. Aside from the splitting stomach cramps/stitches at the 4 mile mark, my run went amazingly well and as the little robotic woman bluntly announced '6 miles!' through my headphones I smiled and allowed myself the luxury of a power walk for that remaining .27 of a mile. As I slowed down to catch my breath and look around the recently harvested wheat field, I noticed that some of the leaves have already started to change from a vibrant green to a pale golden yellow. The sidewalks are sprinkled with dancing crisp leaves that float in the occasional gusts, and the old men out walking their dogs have traded in their buttoned up t-shirts for beige knitted sweaters.
Although there are the occasional pings of sadness followed by a desire to be enjoying this beautiful season at home in my Vermont (where thousands of people travel from all over the place to visit because of our famous stunning fall foliage) I am trying to appreciate and soak up every last bit of Fall in England before we leave. Unlike at home, there aren't bustling apple orchards with the sweet scent of fresh apple cider doughnuts on every back road, but there are still simple things, like perfect Vs of geese flying south, that I'll miss when we're not here.
Before I leave you for the evening (we're off to enjoy a relaxed night of cocktails in our local pub) I want to share with you this lovely old poem by Katherine Mansfield. It makes me smile and I hope it does you too.
Now's the time when children's noses,
All become as red as roses.
And the colour of their faces,
Makes me think of orchard places.
Where the juicy apples grow,
And tomatoes in a row.
And today the hardened sinner
Never could be late for dinner.
But will jump up to the table
Just as soon as he is able.
Ask for three times hot roast mutton--
Oh! the shocking little glutton.
Come then, find your ball and racket,
Pop into your winter jacket.
With the lovely bear-skin lining,
While the sun is brightly shining.
Let us run and play together
And just love the Autumn weather.