Autumn

Of all European seasons I like autumn the most, and of the autumn months October is my favorite – September still has a summery feeling to it and November is too winterish. Sure, it can be cold and wet, and grey and cold and… well… OK, sometimes October in Europe is just no fun at all. But on the other hand, on some October days, when all things are just right, the weather is calm, the air is clear and crisp, and the colors explode, the European autumn reveals itself as the most charming, most romantic of the seasons. On such days the autumn smells are floating on the air – a cozy cocktail of fireplace smoke, wet leaves and pumpking soup.

Autumn, falling leaves and the whole seasons thing are not standard issue around the globe. A friend of mine, who came from a large tropical country to study in a small European country, apparently missed completely on her first European autumn due to all-round cultural shock. We were walking through a large park in what was her second small European October, when she suddenly exclaimed:

“The leaves are brown! And yellow! And they are falling!”
“What do you mean?” I asked, completely taken by surprise.
“They are really falling! Look!” – she shook a nearby tree and watched the leaves fall from it, laughing with joy.
“Well, they fell last year, too”, I noted.
“Really? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I… I didn’t think you won’t notice.”
“Where I come from, we don’t have any seasons. Its always the same. At school, the teacher told us that in other countries the leaves turn brown, and fall, and that seasons change. She showed us pictures. But I never really believed her. It seemed so weird. Why would the leaves fall?”

I didn’t know what to think. Was it a joke? She looked pretty damn serious about it. And she was so purely pleased at the realization that the school books weren’t lying, that I’ve spent the next hour or so bumping into all the trees in the park, trying to create for her the biggest leaves waterfall I could cause. Autumn is magic.

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