September 27th, 2005

I had an apple for lunch today.

This is an entirely insignificant event, but today it reminded me of home: home being New England, specifically Massachusetts and/or Connecticut. I spent the first 7 years of my life in Mass and 4 later years in CT until I went to college, and then I returned to the state for summers and Christmases for 5 years.

This is September; this is apple-picking season. It is autumn, it is fall, it is a time to be outside, a time to wear long sleeves, a time to go pumpkin-picking and foliage-watching and for weather-enjoying and life-living. It is not a time to avoid the outdoors because it is 100 degrees with unbearable humidity.

It is not the time to be in Texas.

But here I am. This is the time of year when I miss “home” the most. I miss everything about fall: the smell of a fresh apple that was just on a tree; the smell of apple-pie baking from the apples we picked that morning; the sound of leaves crunching under my feet; the incredible beauty of the leaves blazing yellow and orange and red and amazing colors in-between; the ache of muscles from raking the leaves and the ridiculous excitement of jumping in the pile; the crisp air that made me feel alive and made me want to run for fun, for the sheer joy of breathing and living…

This is the time of year when I want to be outside, to go for a hike at Sleeping Giant, to get out the sweaters, to spend hours enjoying the weather. Everything here is brown and dying, not coming to life in a blaze of autumn colors. I’m stuck inside with the air conditioning running; I can’t open the windows and let the breeze blow through the house. The heat is oppressive and takes something from me with it.

This is the ninth fall season I’ve missed, and “home” has never felt so far away.

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