In the past two weeks, Walker and I have flown through magenta and blue sunset stripes, over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and through 11 time zones. We’ve walked through streamers and cheers and bells all the way to cobbled streets and damp dreariness.
When we left New York a week ago, the air was turning that perfect coolness, and everything was breathing deeply and contentedly. Who'd want to leave that?
We came to Scotland, and the past week has been devoted to clearing out, cleaning up, and accessorizing our little flat. It is tucked along a narrow wynd enclosed by stone walls that are just high enough to let some fruit fall onto the path. I took off my mittens to pick three golden apples from a tree in our yard today and felt like I was carrying home treasure, the way kids bring home robins’ shells, broken but oh-so-delicate and happily colored.
I was almost as excited to see hangers and light bulbs in my husbands’ bags this afternoon (I just like saying 'my husband'). I think I’m domestic. Speaking of, dinner plans went bad when the grocery was literally out of every spice I could think of needing for any possible entree. Epicurious to the rescue, and 45 minutes later, roasted chicken with potatoes and tomatoes (from a local green grocer) was sizzling and complete. We did have Haagen Dazs to feel like good Americans. And paid a mere $6 for the pint. Perfecto.
Everywhere I live, part of me misses every other place I’ve lived during that season. Autumn in New Jersey reminds me of soccer games and apple cider donuts and candy corn. Autumn in Pennsylvania is hay rides and hot pretzels and sunsets over farmland. In Tennessee, the mountains turned so slowly to gold, and we made s’mores and smelled like camp smoke and tromped up the mountain through mounds of leaves.
In Scotland, the air is clean, the winds are persistent and cool. And it is green. The grass is so green. Always damp and green. Sometimes I wonder why the grass doesn’t just get sick of all the water and give up. But every day I pull on my winter hat and walk out to a green lawn. It is always thankful for the rain. I love that.
It is almost October, and the streets are still lined with window boxes bubbling reds and purples and greens.
Walker and I miss autumn in America. We miss the people with whom we shared autumn smells and tastes and laughs and cheers. Autumn is different here, and we long for the memories we connect with it to be true again, those crisp, apple-and-pumpkin memories. But home is here.