Because there’s beauty in the breakdown
By Jenny Bundock
In March, I wrote an article about how spring, in its infinite shitty-ness, was ruining my mood for about 60 days of the year. It is the mushy ground, the mud, the poop, dead baby birds, etc. I believe in balance to a certain extent — I generally work out my frustrations with the world around me in these articles, and in doing so I’m rather pleasant to be around in person (believe it or not). With this same notion of balance, I believe that if I write about the season I hate the most, the fair thing to do would be to write about the season that I love.
My favorite season is fall. Here is why:
This is a bit of a clichéd reason to like fall, I will give you that, but there is some wisdom in it — it is super attractive to look at, and it makes everyone feel like they live in a pretty awesome place when they look around and see bright red maples, or yellow shrubs all along the highway. Does the heart good.
The subsequent purge of the leaves
Trees prevent themselves from dying entirely by jettisoning the parts that are unsustainable through the winter, and we as a species can learn from this approach by examining what we may have that might be bogging us down — a crappy boyfriend or girlfriend, an annoying cat, 60 pairs of shoes, knick-knacks that remind us of that summer at camp when we were five, stacks of textbooks and course kits from undergrad that you’ll never touch again, high school crushes you are creeping out on Facebook, etc. Trees get, apparently, that you have to let go in order to move on, and I respect that. Another obvious plus is that you get to play in the resulting piles of discarded leaves. This is amazingly fun, even if you try to pretend you are not playing by merely dragging your feet through gutters as you walk around. I’m on to you: you are totally jumping up and down inside laughing like a seven-year old. I certainly am.
Sweaters are awesome. I look the best in a t-shirt and a cardigan, hands-down. Most of the dates I got in high school happened in the fall, because I looked so foxy in my Cons, jeans, Value Village ironic t-shirts (like the D.A.R.E. one I wore at least once a week), and a ratty knitted or jersey zip-up hoodie or cardigan. See in winter your coat screws with this ensemble because you look exactly the same everyday when you are out, because your pants probably are mostly the same style (jeans, cargo pants, dressy pants) and your coat is always the same, or maybe rotates between two, and then there are hats and mitts, again, mostly the same, and boots, again, the same daily. Your style is lost after week two or three. In fall, the combinations are endless, and even if you wear a coat, it likely doesn’t have to be zipped up — you still get variety day-to-day. I wait all year for sweater weather, and I savour every minute of it.
Totally kicks Easter’s ass any day of the week. On Easter you get some chocolate eggs but only after a soggy and pointless search, the Christians tell you about Jesus, everyone dresses like a bunny (and no one understands why), and Catholics eat fish. Woo hoo? On Halloween you get sacks of candy from everyone; everyone throws an awesome party where you can dress up as something (and clever people can take the opportunity to subtly prove how genius they are); the Christians stay inside and turn off their lights OR they participate quietly because they realize it’s really fun; it’s dark humor at its best, like tombstones on 70-year-old ladies’ lawns; your mom dressed up as an axe murderer or a crackhead like Amy Winehouse; and CBC plays classic horror films all night like The Shining or The Exorcist.
You buy new clothes
Chances are you started this habit because of school starting, and your need to wear a new outfit on the first day. For most of us, it’s just not fall unless you’ve bought some new awesome stuff to wear around, and no one will question the necessity of doing so.
Not just the awesome moon named after it either (or the awesome Neil Young song named after them both), but the actual frigging bounty of pears, peaches, apples, squash, pumpkins, corn, cider, and anything else you traditionally eat at Thanksgiving, or at any given moment during fall when all of Ontario explodes with food for a few months. I have made like six pies in the last two months. Why? At this time of year apples are so cheap, peaches are overflowing from baskets, and everything is local and ripe. Plus, pie is so satisfying to eat with a bit of ice cream, in your sweater watching the leaves fall off the trees from your front porch at 5:30 when the sun starts going down.
Spring steals from us one whole hour of precious sleep, when we “spring forward” and the clock jumps from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., instantly. Fucking assholes. And thanks to George Bush, that now happens right in the middle of exams/final paper time of the year — so not only does it steal from us, it steals from us when we need it the most. Fall is so much more giving. It says, “Hey, you look kind of tired, and I know you just had some pie, which probably made you feel pretty good, but tell you what, why don’t you sleep in tomorrow for an extra hour, and I’ll take care of the pesky clock. Deal?” And you are like, “Man, thanks fall, I did have a pretty raging Halloween, and I could certainly use the extra shut-eye to kill my hangover. You are the best.”
Have you been pissed on by rain a lot since the start of fall? No. You haven’t. See, summer is a compromise: it basically is super warm and nice, but at the cost of dryness occasionally. Thunderstorms totally rule, but if it were summer without rain, we’d all bake, burn, and dry out to dust or something. Then the farmers would lose their minds, and everyone’s lawn would die, and kids would never EVER get out of swimming pools — so we put up with the weather because it is necessary for that whole balance thing. Fall needs not compromise. Sometimes it snows, which is pretty, especially if it melts by noon; sometimes it rains, but not for long, and not very heavily; but most days, it is just cool, dry, and A-okay. Find me a season with less adverse weather, and I’ll give you a dollar.
And finally, The US election will finally be over
Fall is so good at sensing what we are all about that it even goes so far as to realize that we are all exhausted by the elections that get tossed on it. It knows that every four years the Americans will duke it out all summer over who gets to lead next, but it says partway through its season, “Wrap it up guys/gals,” and they do. Leaving November 5th-December 21st as the blissful days where no one will talk about Barack or John, because whoever wins will get the job in January [Obama! -ed.], so it is vacation time for us, and them, until winter.
If you aren’t convinced fall is the best season, it’s probably because you secretly or overtly like summer, which I can understand: it is a close second for me personally as well. BUT the point that I am trying to make sure everyone gets is that it’s definitely better than spring, by a long shot… forever… no erasies.