This is an essay that I wrote in response to the prompt – “Why do you like autumn?”
I’ve never appreciated all of the seasons in Michigan. For me, winter is nothing more than extra clothes, puddles on the kitchen floor, and time wasted in ditches along the road. I don’t like to drive, even in the summer, so winter driving is even more stressful. I once sat down with my family and made the unfortunate comment: “I can think of three times when I was paying attention, but lost control on snowy roads.”
“That time on the way to volleyball practice,” Michelle said.
“Okay, four times.”
“At the bottom of the hill after school,” said Cammie.
“Fine, five times.”
“The driveway,” my dad grumbled.
By the time we were done I had listed over a dozen occasions when my inability to gage road conditions planted me right in a ditch, or a snowbank, but never, thankfully, into another car.
Because of the extra pressure to drive safely in the winter, autumn has usually served as a anxious time of transition. The reds and oranges of the fall leaves represent the bright flames of a fire – a fire leaping from my engine block as I collide with another car. The cooling nights and bitter winds tease me as they clear room on the ground for the white winter dump.
I don’t know how, but my perspective on autumn is changing. Though I can’t prove it, I blame it on my husband.
Matt loves all seasons – he can camp anywhere, at anytime, in any weather, so the winter doesn’t confine him as it does me. Instead, he embraces the sparkley white landscape. He’s helped me see it’s beauty, too.
Matt is also a lover of lights – Christmas lights. The first time the temperature drops below fifty he is ready to announce, “It’s almost Christmas!” As the nights come earlier, the Christmas lights come on. They’ve never come down in our house, so its a simple plugging in of a chord. Instead of dreading the shortened days and sleeping away the extra dark hours, I find myself plugging in colorful strands and basking in the soft glow of red and blue snowflakes.
And then there was our wedding. A blizzard-blasted Thanksgiving weekend three years ago. Despite the cold, the canceled reservations, and the piles of snow, I joined my life with my love’s. We snuggled in the hotel room with a cozy fireplace. We soaked in the warmth of our personal jacuzzi. We were oblivious to the world around us. That cozy comfort continues today when we snuggle between the feather bed and the flannel lined down comforter, with steamy coffee mugs in hand and computers on our laps. I hardly notice the weather outside.
Matt has even helped me with my fear of winter driving. For barely two hundred dollars and a little bit of time you can purchase safety and security at Sam’s Club. With four snow tires, and bit of extra caution, I haven’t met a ditch in years.
With my husband’s help, my perspective is changing, and I don’t mind at all.