Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The leaves are changing to beautiful reds, bright yellows and warm oranges. There are pumpkins, apples and squash. The air becomes crisp and it no longer seems weird to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the evening.
Autumn always brings many memories with it. It's my favorite time of year to run. I remember running cross country and kicking up leaves as we wove through trails in races. The hint of winter that kept the kept us running, probably in anticipation of putting our warm-ups back on. The camaraderie of the bus trips to and from meets, where I learned all the words to "Baby Got Back." (Thanks a lot, guys. Not the song you want to have repeating through your head when you're fighting your way up a hill.) Some mornings when I go outside, I can't get it out of my head that I should be going to a race. I even get the queasy feeling in my stomach in anticipation of the start.
Autumn also reminds me of my dad. I always remember him with thoughts of harvest. One of his favorite things to do was walk through the cornfields, examining the ears of corn to see if they were ripe and if they were ready for harvest. When I think of him, I see an ear of corn with the faded husk peeled away from the corn. The fall colors also remind me of my father. My dad was a deer hunter and hunted in the usual camouflage, but had a red plaid hat and a fluorescent orange vest. His jacket seemed like it was older than the hills, but it must have been warm because he wore it every year. These memories are comforting, but bittersweet. My dad died ten years ago on October 1, fittingly the first day of bow hunting season. He'd been ill, but had still purchased his hunting license.
Autumn reminds me that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.