The cool, crisp air in recent days has forced me to trade in my striped button-up for a basket-weave sweater. I say forced, but I love the fall. It's not cold enough to be a nuisance like winter, and it's still relatively easy to get warm with blanket. But there's something I love more than the colors or the wardrobe change-ups.
I love the air.
It's literally different in the fall. It brings all the fine dust that memories are made of with it as we draw it in through our noses. It carries memories of being young and playing in the remnants of a harvested field, pulling the shorn, dry corn stalks out of the ground and hitting your brother with it just to watch the dirt clod tangled up in the roots break apart on his back. It carries memories of adolescence when school years were new and friendships were just being rekindled after the long, yet too-short summer. It brings the scent of independence from that first year after college, when you were truly on your own and the world seemed both silent and busy all at once before you found your stride.
Memories ride the fall air. They say the sense of smell is most closely related to memories and I think each fall stands as a testament to that. As I begin to crush the dry leaves under my feet each year, I watch as they break apart and float away in warm-toned swirls. They mix with the memories of years gone by and they become the fine, nearly imperceptible, powder that returns each year on the autumn winds, giving way to a rush of familiar memories that are somehow fresh and thrilling.
Soon we will find ourselves cursing the snow and sniffling to catch a whiff of pleasant memories, as we trudge our way toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. But for now, the mix is right. The air is crisp and the memories are beautiful.
Leave some fine dust for yourself next year.