It’s odd to think of fall on August 1st, but that’s where the weather took me this morning….a wistful, cozy world, and the time of year where home, specifically the East Coast, tugs on my shirtsleeve.
My friend commented that autumn is such a uniquely American season. I mean, yes, of course the leaves fall and change, especially in places like Germany. And yes, Spanish folks celebrate the harvest, and make soups, and mark the passing of time, just as we do.
But she’s right. October is home. It’s the snap of twigs, and steaming mugs. Football on Sundays and sharp new pencils in backpacks. Petting goats at the apple orchard, or sitting under a blanket on a soccer field.
It’s a season of holidays–Halloween, Thanksgiving—none of which are celebrated here. Fall is when we said goodbye to my husband’s mother, and when we entered the plane which took us to Spain, almost two years ago. Goodbyes and beginnings.
My tiny white house with the shutters that looked like the eyes of an owl. The yellow school bus that took my oldest away. Quiet mornings with my three year old– soft carpet, and Toy Story floor puzzles.
My Spanish friends asked me what I miss--echar de menos–about my life in America. I mentioned the obvious friends and family. And then I said, “I miss how I didn’t have to think so hard, and work so hard, all the time. I miss how I could step out my front door, and just be Nancy, not la americana.”
And it’s true. I do miss the ease of effortless assimilation, (being a white, upper-middle class person, it was effortless).
But if asked again, I would say. Otono. Mornings of nutmeg and coffee, leaves crunching underfoot, and sunlight, slowly giving way to dusk, leaving only silence and promise.