October 20, 2019- Vivid Fall Colors
This is the time of year when homesickness rears its ugly head for me. Having lived in Florida for almost 30 years, it truly is now HOME. However, when all my friends and family in the northeast start posting pictures of the gorgeous autumn foliage, my Bostonian soul comes bubbling up and I have a hunger for all things New England! An afternoon at the orchard picking apples, then having the house smell like cinnamon for days as we make pies and applesauce. Evening fires in the fireplace to ward off the cold. Hayrides at the pumpkin farm, in jeans and sweatshirts. Morning air so brisk it leaves the kids’ cheeks all rosy. Carving pumpkins and lining them up on the front porch for the entire month. Enormous piles of leaves to play in before bagging them up. Roasting marshmallows over backyard fire pits while wrapped in blankets.
While some of these things can certainly be transported to Florida, the adjustments required, (like hayrides in shorts and flip flops) seem unauthentic to this northern girl. It is not that I haven’t tried to recreate these things here in Florida. I insisted that we plant a deciduous tree in our backyard when we moved into this house 20 years ago. We now have the most enormous and gorgeous sycamore tree I have ever seen. And yes, every fall, I have piles of leaves to rake, jump in, and bag up. But jumping in leaves with my granddaughter when it is still 80 degrees outside doesn’t seem like quite the same thing.
That is not to say that I do not love fall in Florida, because I do. I love that the humidity has broken and we can now use our lovely outside living areas all day long, not just in the early morning or late evening. I love that we can start to turn off the air conditioner and leave the doors and windows open. I love that children’s Halloween costumes do not have to fit over sweaters and jackets.
I guess loving where you are does not mitigate missing where you were. They both are part of the tapestry of who we are. I was reminded of that this week when some of my students began to finish up their first project of the year and get ready share them in class. The theme of the project is IDENTITY and they were to create power point presentations that focus on how they became the person they are. What people, places, and events helped to shape them into who they are today. I can hardly wait for them to begin sharing these in class!
Wishing everyone joy in where you are, and happy memories in where you've been.