Yes Folks, Fall Is Coming

NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD

By Candace Echols

Soon, very soon, a morning is going to come and it will bring with it something delightful. We will all wake up and before our eyes open to the world, we will sense a lightness of air. A clarity of atmosphere. It will be almost like Christmas morning is to the kiddies. We will rush downstairs to open the door because maybe, just maybe, while we were fast asleep, autumn will have arrived.

I have three friends from New York and all three find fall depressing. I find this fascinating. For them, it signifies short, dark days ahead. A cold so abrasive that it almost hurts. For me, down here where we are, nothing could be further from my experience. This particular summer had me googling “Global warming” and “Climate change” like never before. My Spotify was tuned to the Vince Guaraldi Trio way too soon just as a coping mechanism, an “if you play it, it will come” way of looking at things. 

While fall in the north may sometimes feel ominous, here in Memphis, it is as if God has poked a hole in our atmosphere to let all the stuffiness out and finally freed us to breathe the way we were intended to! A Grace Saint Lukes mom I know recently made the comment that, “Everyone looks like they have heavy backpacks on their backs. No one is smiling. Everyone looks so tired.”

This is because we are so tired! This humidity sucks the life and light out of us. But soon folks, soon, all shall be restored! 

photo by Mark Fleischer

Even for those of you who aren’t bonfire or hayride people, you will be able to open your windows and let the house inhale and exhale on its own without the AC breathing machine. All staleness of air will be left behind. Freshness will blow through our fine city like a healing salve – we could use some of that. Smiles will float effortlessly from one face to another. Folks will put down their backpacks of heavy air and nearly float away with fall joy. 

You’ll know it because people will start doing things that are out of character for them. Mothers who have no desire to leave the city limits will start driving to Mississippi just to experience life on a farm. Fathers who use fire starters for the grill will suddenly have an inability to suppress their desire to chop firewood. School children who think oxygen comes out of that round button at the bottom of an iPad will find themselves jumping headlong into piles of leaves …and liking it. People will start driving with their windows rolled down playing whatever music matches the weather for them, and I will suddenly find myself humming along, whether I like their genre or not. 

For a moment, fall will restore things to what they were meant to be. Yes, yes, I know, shorter days are ahead for us too. But so are things like boeuf bourguignon and fireside chats and apple cider and falling leaves and cabins in the woods and cozy sweaters and comfy boots and cuddling with those we love. 

Folks, this is ahead for us. One morning soon, in that sweet moment between wakefulness and dreams when I realize the AC has miraculously cut off because alas, it’s no longer needed, I will race downstairs in my robe and slippers and I will think of all the other grown-ups doing the same thing at the same time and I will smile to myself because I know that now, we will all be smiling at each other. <>

Candace Echols is a Midtowner and Central Gardens resident. Candace was part of StoryBoard’s Page One Writer’s Program and writes for StoryBoard to satisfy her love of writing.

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