COLUMN: The Chill of an Early Fall
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 22:09
As I woke up an hour before my alarm on Tuesday morning, I could feel the lump in my throat. Once I registered the sunshine streaming through my closed curtains, I knew it was here.
The chill of an early fall.
And, with the cold snaps of the past week or so, the chill of an early fall comes with the inevitable slight cold currently being passed among the student body.
But I digress.
There’s a funny thing about fall: when it rolls around, it seems to be all we can talk about. Can it really be true that this many people in New England consider autumn their favorite time of year? Aren’t there some of you mourning the long, hot summer, or looking forward to the snow?
Let’s be real. Maybe it really is just about the pumpkin spice lattes. Have you heard? Apparently, if you say the phrase “pumpkin spice latte” three times fast, a white girl in yoga pants will appear to tell you everything she loves about fall. While I haven’t tried it myself, I have no doubt this is true—and considering the makeup of our campus, would be hesitant to try it anywhere in Chestnut Hill for fear of a stampede.
As a native Southerner, I cannot speak for why New Englanders feel this passionate about one particular season. But, I can tell you why, like the apparent majority of those on campus, I love fall. Ironically, it happens to be a reason that not a single other BC student shares with me. How can this be, you ask? Well, because no one else knows about it—yet.
That Day is a family holiday that the Tiedts have celebrated every year since I can first remember going to the pumpkin patch. You see, for Texans, any semblance of a chill resembling any sort of fall season is a welcome relief. In other words, summertime lasts until about late October. Therefore, “the true beginning of fall,” as my mother defines it, must be celebrated. There are specific weather criteria for That Day: temperature ranges, cloud to sun ratio, wind factors, etc.
But, more than anything, you can just feel it.
On Tuesday, I felt it.
Formally, only my mother could declare a certain day to be That Day. Fall is her favorite season, That Day is her favorite day of the year. In essence, it is her holiday. When I was little, friends and family members would actually call her asking whether or not today was That Day. When the day arrived, she would announce it to all those same friends and family, cook a big fall dinner, and have presents waiting on the counter when we all got home.
Yes, there are That Day presents. Yes, it is awesome.
While That Day has no specific date on the calendar, it used to be just one day a year, because all the people I loved were in the same place. Now, the people who used to celebrate That Day together are strewn across the country. My parents, who are currently in New Hampshire, say That Day was sometime last week. My best friend from high school told me on Monday that That Day would hit Fayetteville, Ark. at some point in the next week or two.
But for me, here at Boston College, That Day was Tuesday.
So as I strolled about campus in my favorite oversized sweater and leggings, the classic BC girl uniform of fall, I celebrated That Day on my own. Although this is my third That Day away from home, it was the first time I declared the day on my own. It was easily one of my best days on campus thus far.
You can take away the boots, scarves, suspense of the coming holidays, leaves turning, even those pumpkin spice lattes. For me, fall means family. That Day is something all our own—no matter when the chill of an early fall can be felt in the air.