The weather up here in Vermont suddenly got pretty-and it kills me to say this-warm, and while I’m not complaining about warm weather… I kind of am. There is something great about bicycling down a leaf-bare driveway while the sun bakes you into sleepy submission. That sleepy submission-warmth-comfort thing really isn’t a Vermont fall though and so I feel completely cheated.
Here’s how a Vermont fall is supposed to go down: It’s windy, really windy and this isn’t a warm windy breeze but snapping cold gusts that whip around you. The wind in Fall is supposed to bring tears to your eyes, not crying exactly but tears that well up in your eyes and start to obscure your vision. This is in conjunction with the burning on your cheeks, of course. Winter might make your cheeks sting but in Fall it catches you completely by surprise making it burn like hell fire. A good Fall day isn’t a good one without red cheeks and teary eyes.
But this weak weather isn’t just taking away from the physical enjoyment of Fall but also the sight linked pleasure. In crisp weather you see leaves that capture green, gold, orange and red all in one little wisp of a leaf, you see the leaves being flung into the air. These colors, when taken in with the tear blurred vision, begin to blend together with the dying greens of the field, the solid greens of the evergreens, the amazingly lively blue skies, and just the faintest hints of white clouds.
As the wind whips around you can see animals like never before. Unlike Winter’s wearied attempts for survival, Summer’s relaxed comfort and Spring’s cautious joy Fall brings out this ferocity in nature. Not ferocity that results in maulings but a fierce attempt to live. Deer run and eat, pileated woodpeckers really get into their work and humans begin to can food, stack wood, anything to make sure they make it through the winter.
In this frenzy I find a great sense of bliss. This is life boiled down to the essence, like when you use dash alcohol onto a hot pan and get it down to just its most potent taste. I end up dancing in the our neighbor’s meadow, running through the woods with the dog like two puppies, reciting Dickenson to the trees and loving where I live.