Falling for Fall

Summers on Canada’s west coast are mostly dry, and we all enjoy the sunshine and soak up some well deserved vitamin D. But, come late September or early October, the air feels fresher and cleaner. Your head feels clearer. You begin to relish the thought of some refreshing rain to wash away the summer dust.

If you were born or raised in Canada, no matter what culture you come from, you may look forward to steaming mugs of hot beverages and hearty meals to prepare you for the long winter ahead. Watching the leaves fall from the trees one by one, you find the different hues of browns, yellows and rust as pleasing as a late summer’s sunset.

Suddenly instead of lounging on the beach, you want to go for a brisk walk or bike ride instead - wrapped up warmly against the rapid drop in temperature. The cool air brings tears to your eyes and yet you seem to breathe deeper.

Winter’s not far away, which will mean more seasonal treats to enjoy. In traditional Canadian culture, that means turkey, cranberries and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving; pumpkins, costumes and candy at Halloween; gathering around the television for a hockey game; the giddy anticipation of hitting the ski slopes; après-ski; ice-skating on the icy lake; and snow angels in the yard.

It’s a time to reconnect with family and friends, when cosy chats in a cosy room turn to Christmas and the New Year – looking ahead, optimistic for new beginnings and full of hope. You wonder where the years go, the seasons changing in the blink of an eye.

Fall seemed endless in youth, going back to school and jumping in leaves, puddles or muck, without a care in the world. I hear people say that it rains a lot in Vancouver - yet, being from Ireland originally, I can’t help but think they’ve never been to our wee green isle!  Here, the rain is cleansing. Your umbrella, which will become your enemy in time, is something of a novelty to have back in your hand. You invest in a new coat or dig out last year’s, along with your woolly scarf and gloves, and you immediately feel protected from the elements in your own insulated bubble.

Your senses are heightened. As the days get shorter and the mornings darker, your tastes turn from salads and spritzers to the comfort foods. Smells that bring you right back to your childhood – cinnamon, spice and all things nice.

The Sunday night routine as school gets back into full swing. Gazing into the fire, hypnotized, as glowing orange figures dance against the fireplace and throw shapes into the stark black windows. A parent’s comforting hug before bed, tucking covers in tight, and a fairytale with a happy ending – the perfect recipe for a soundless sleep.

How so much feeling can be evoked from one moment in time is the sheer essence of autumn. New moons and new life meeting old. Those endless summer days still fresh in your mind, but with so much promise for the future so tantalizingly close.

I fell in love with fall all over again, here in my second home, Canada

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