I have lived with changing seasons for over thirty years now, but I spent my childhood in Arizona, growing up in the desert. I've decided that early imprinting does something to a brain. Even after 30 years, I still think the weather should warm up at the beginning February. I still miss the sun in vaguely depressive ways when it has been absent for several weeks. I still don't quite expect to see masses of leafy green trees out of my windows. And I am still surprised by the arrival cooler weather. Pleasantly surprised that is.
I adore fall. I love the cooler weather. I love sweaters and flannel. I love the whole atmosphere. It makes me want to curl up in a blanket with a good book in front of a fire, with a cup of tea. OK, in truth, I'm not sure what doesn't make me want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea, but during the summer I don't need the blanket and fire.
Because fall coincides with the beginning of the school year, I also have an overwhelming urge to study something. That, I think, is directly related to studying in my university's huge, Gothic-style music library when I was in college, followed by studying in graduate school in the University of Chicago's Gothic-style library. (I didn't attend U of C for grad school, J. did. I just drove down to Hyde Park to study with him on my free days.) Anyway, it is what the change of seasons tells me I should be doing.
At the beginning of the season, even the shorter days don't bother me so much, they just feel cozy. And that is the word that seems to sum up the season for me. Cozy. (Yes, I actually think studying can be cozy. I've read too many British mysteries set in Oxford, I think.) Fall lends itself to cozy things... knitting, sewing, baking, reading, taking walks through the changing leaves, bonfires, warm and comfy clothes, hot drinks, comforting foods. I could go on and on.
It also makes me think it's time to change the picture books for the season. It's time to say good-by to books about beaches and warm weather, and bring out the cozier titles. I also want to dig out one of my favorite books to read to children... The Cozy Book by Mary Ann Hoberman. It's the perfect book for the season.