Monday, September 28, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Not Christmas, but Fall. And as I look out the window at the beginning of our Autumnal season I'm reminded of why this is one of the greatest seasons of the year.

And while many people think of it as the commencement of growth with the replacement of a slow death of warmth, leaves, and all things that bloom, fall represents much more. In my life, it has always represented change and a renewing of one's spirit.

As a lad, fall was our Christmas each and every year due to our religious beliefs. Biblically, we celebrated the promise of being rescued by God at the Apocalypse, Judgement Day, and finally Eternal Life. As most main stream Christian religions do not celebrate these Old Testament based "Holy Days", we were a little different, or you could just say "cultish". However, each fall, around this time of year, we would take a vacation usually to some sort of beach, give each other gifts, eat at a lot of nice restaurants, go to theme parks, and enjoy meeting new friends whilst becoming closer with our immediate families. Those religious holidays were known as "The Feast of Tabernacles", or quite simply, "The Feast". And the weather was always very crisp and clean. It's the kind of weather you wake up to at 7am and say, "Damn, let's get this day started, Yeehaw".

Our church's religious practices have changed from a "Fire and Brimstone" type religion to a more "Honor God with your Heart" based practice. Unfortunately the days of the "Feast" and other old testament based holidays have disappeared. However, the memories of such good times and spiritual renewal have stayed in place. In fact, my mom and I always call each other around this time and say, "It's Feast Weather".

Anchored with these special memories in my heart, the fall has continued to be special for me, and on my way to work this morning I was thinking that five years ago, was when I met my wife.

Five years ago was a different time for me in my life. I was incredibly immature, really hurt from a previous breakup, and my self confidence was quite shaky. However, after a brief attempt at stand up comedy during a presentation in graduate school, my future wife came up to me and said, "I just had to meet you after such a hilarious presentation".

And as I maintained the courage to man up, ask her out, and keep persevering to win her heart, the weather became "Feast weather".

It was autumn, and I'll never forget riding out to her farm to study and go horseback riding. That day was where we had our first kiss on her porch while we should have been studying. After we went horseback riding she came up to me, kissed me, and as I stood there shocked, she said, "I just wanted to do that". I'll never forget how special I felt. You see, at that time in my life I was so used to giving so much in relationships and never seeing such happy returns. I felt valued, and to the romantics out there, I felt in love.

And every fall, something new and cool usually happened. Fall 2004, the same time I met Meghan, the Red Sox ended their 86 year World Series drought. Fall, 2007, we bought our first house, and the Red Sox won the World Series again. Fall 2008, we raised our Puppy. Fall 2009, we have been married over a year and I keep falling in love with my wife each and every day just like 5 years ago when she introduced herself.

As a hedonist I find ways to celebrate just about everything about life because it's too damn short. And fall, well, it's another celebration. Raking leaves, jumping in them, carving pumpkins, getting drunk while carving pumpkins and then eating the burnt pumpkin seeds you conceptualized on cocktail number two or three (who's counting), Autumn festivals, harvest time for grapes, nice meals of your favorite comfort food because it's nice and cool outside, sleeping with the windows open and burrowing under the covers, the list goes on and on, and yours might differ...

but to me, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

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