In keeping with my cheerful, sunny spirit and innate optimism ... ick, okay, I'll start over: In spite of my general air of grumpiness and my normally pessimistic assessment of life, I seriously love autumn. I just pretend this will be the year that winter doesn't arrive after autumn fades. Autumn is my favorite season. How can you not love autumn?
Okay, it's true that, in spite of nearly 60 years of pretending, winter has followed autumn with an impressive and perfect regularity, but the moment the leaves start to change I forget all about the fact that I live almost precisely 130 miles south of the arctic circle in the heart of the subarctic boreal forest. A place where, on the shortest day of the year, the sun hoists itself a meager distance above the horizon, looks across the frozen landscape, loses heart and plummets sadly down and out of sight again, and we're left freezing various mentionable and unmentionable body parts off in the dark and entertaining ourselves by seeing who comes up with the weirdest manifestation of seasonal affective disorder.
Instead, autumn arrives and I happily run out and admire the fabulous color of the same leaves about which I will later mutter inventive curses while fishing them out of my rain gutters and raking them into towering piles on my lawn. I take giant breaths of crisp air, fragrant with the scent of the forest floor, forgetting the fact that the forest floor smells that way because mold, my favorite allergen, is busy making compost out of the fallen leaves. Do I care? No. Because nothing looks as amazing as a stand of bright yellow birches against a deep blue sky, unless maybe it's a stand of bright yellow birches, illuminated by a shaft of sunlight breaking through the clouds, and posed against the dark background of an autumn storm.
So pass me some kleenex and Nasonex, and don't you dare mention snow. I'm in denial.