So, tonight we fall back again and it can’t come too soon for me.
I love all the seasons, but most of all, I love autumn. One might think that an odd choice for a gardener. November has no crocuses (well, Tom tried autumn-blooming crocuses one year, but the squirrels ate them all before we ever saw any blooms) and no crowds or hosts of daffodils. I have a few peppers hanging on and a couple of cherry tomatoes, but that’s it for summer.
I do not like the hot and humid summer of Virginia, but I love preparing my nest for the winter. Around here, that means finally needing a light comforter with the window open just a bit. I love soup and chili and, yes, I love football, cider, doughnuts, and good apples.
Shifting Gears: Recurrent Fears Every four autumns since I was old enough to vote, I worry about the presidential election. When I taught school in Page, Arizona, I voted absentee for George McGovern. Later, in Salt Lake City, I voted for Jimmy Carter, even though I always did like Jerry Ford. In Arlington, Virginia, I couldn’t believe the United States could vote in Ronald Reagan. Reality showed me. I know who won the election in 2000 (the one in fact and the one by Supreme Court fiat). I didn’t believe that George W. Bush could be re-elected after the photos of Abu Ghraib were published. Now, I am aghast at the specter of the possibility of a demagogue poised to claim the presidency by the vote or by the mob.
Tuesday night our friends Daphne and Tom are coming for a sleepover so we can stay up and watch the election returns together. Reminds me of a pajama party of my youth, where we girls screamed over Psycho. Talk about déjà vu. I think we will all need blankets to cover our heads when scary returns come in. We will be okay, though. Tom will be making comfort food: spaghetti and meatballs and garlic toast. No one’s (that I’ve tasted) meatballs and spaghetti are as good as Tom’s are and we will have a green salad of lettuce, chard, arugula, and herbs fresh-picked from my fall garden. I have been considering what dessert will be the homiest and most comforting and I have decided on apple crisp. I am using Joy of Cooking‘s recipe, which tastes the most like my mom’s–talk about comfort.
The leaves still fall with sunny abandon, so I am not (too) afraid.
I believe that what Maya Angelou wrote (see Still I Rise ) is true for all of us:
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Maybe Tuesday or maybe later, I believe–as I have since childhood–that we will rise all of us: stronger and better together.