The sun has set on my first summer in Europe. Today it was decidedly chilly, making me regret not wearing the new coat I bought this weekend in preparation for winter. When the alarm goes off in the morning, much later than I have been setting it in many months, it is dark and still outside. I take longer than normal to convince myself that it really is time to get up.

When the cold wind starts to blow, and the leaves are dropping and rustling along the streets, I want to hurry home to where it is safe and warm. The brief summer glow in the afternoons never completely removes the chill from the morning or the certainty that the days will get shorter and colder for many months to come.

Almost this time a year ago, I made my first trip to Munich. The stakes were high no matter what the outcome. It was time to decide if one of us would move or if we would stop the long distance dating once and for all. And almost a year before that, as my father says teasingly, M. had an unlucky day in Chicago, the day we met. Two years later I am here living in Europe as life takes another of its twists and turns.

Nostalgia is inescapable for me during this time of year. I come from Northeast USA. Football and the shrill band music and giddy cheerleaders, hot apple cider and carving pumpkins, Halloween and Thanksgiving starting the long holiday season, Sunday drives to see the fall foliage and the first flurries of winter, and, most importantly, family gatherings all made a strong imprint after so many years. I miss fall in New England, probably more than any other time of year.

If I am living somewhere new, I am glad it is in a place that has the four seasons so much like at home. I may be the only person in Germany carving a pumpkin for Halloween but at least they have them everywhere. The leaves are not anywhere near as brilliant as in New England but at least they are changing and falling. The seasonal food is hearty and I have many new friends to have a cozy dinner and share a bottle of wine with. And yesterday, M. and I perfected an almost perfect rendition of the American tradition of the lazy Sunday couch layabout, missing only football but replaced with half a season of Lost. As I lay there, warmed by M. and listening to his heart with my head on his chest, rising and falling as he breathed, I couldn't think of a better way to spend a fall day.

Posted in Basel


Carol said...

You have a wonderful, optimistic "glass half full" attitude! :-)


christina said...

You're right, fall in Germany can be so lovely. I'll definitely be carving a pumpkin or two, just like every year.

Expat Traveler said...

ah.... What a beautiful story. The fall here in Vancouver has been absolutely incredible this year and I'm so happy I have tomorrow off to photograph more (I hope)... I'd say you are in a great place!~!!

Sean Carter said...

Well nature does come alive in all her beauties in Autumn. And what better festival to celebrate such beauty than Thanksgiving. The wonderful colors outside and the cheer in all our hearts and all the fun with family and friends. Check out this Thanksgiving Blog for many more cool stuffs on Thanksgiving. I'm sure you'll love it!!!

rebecca said...

I decided to swap a Christmas visit for Thanksgiving.... I miss home this time of year, too. It took me too many years of living elsewhere to realize how beatiful it is where I am from.