The magic of autumn on a different continent

From my earliest memories, I have loved the fall season.

Was it because of the sense of urgency and excitement of starting a new school year? Was it because of the changes in weather, or maybe just because of the smells of grapes, apples and pears from my grandparents’ cottage? I still don’t know.

Everything surrounding me was magic: picking up red leaves with my mom to build school projects, waking up in the morning to dress for school with my freshly ironed uniform and my new shiny shoes, my dad removing water from the radiator to have heat in the apartment, my new books, my new journey…

Over the years I have kept that feeling with me. I was afraid that Canada might steal that autumn magic away; but that never happened. In fact, I thought my magical fall was enough until I was exposed to fall in Ontario.

When I think about autumn in Canada, I imagine myself living in a van Gogh painting or a Frank Sinatra song. The trees become amazing, with their graceful look, their different colours and shapes. The mornings are light and foggy, with crisp and fresh air, and my sense of taste rejoices in flavours and scents. The explosion of red, gold and yellow make me inhale this spectacular view.

In my Canadian autumn it rains. I feel alive and reborn each time the rain knocks on my windows, letting me know that nature is once again embracing all of us. It makes me want to read, to knit or to bake, in order to prolong this unique feeling of coziness that we all have felt at least once in childhood.

There is a special magic happening when you turn a corner and see hills of pumpkins, awaiting their time to be picked and brought home. On Halloween night, little children with their parents will knock on each door to ask for candies in their “scary” costumes. There is such joy in their faces, for even though most of the times it’s a cold night and their noses are red, their bags are full of candy.

In my five years in Canada, I have never gone “trick or treating” with a kid for Halloween because, like my mother, I feel that this is a moment that I should treasure when I have my own child.

This tradition is not celebrated in my country, but I’ve learned to embrace it as part of my autumn - as I’ve learned to embrace the raking of leaves, the campfire smell, the harvest, and Thanksgiving dinner.

In my Canadian autumn, I can still be the little girl who once built forts of leaves and learn to make apple stew. The magic of Canadian fall has taught me that home is where our memories can flourish, and where our senses are fully exposed.

This story is from the "Autumn in Canada" InfoBlock. To read more stories on this topic, click here.