Lately, fall has been foremost in my mind. Fall and winter and the ways we understand the seasons and how tied up it all is in the idea of home.


Home as in where we’re from. Home as in the place through which we understand all places. Home as in the things that live inside of us – the smells, the sights, the experiences.

My version of fall is cool and bright. She comes early, before her equinox, wetting September’s morning grass. Her light fades early, too, setting behind our dinner tables. She lasts for months, uninterested in a continued relationship with summer but flirting dangerously, constantly, with winter. Courting winter but putting him off. Beckoning to him but keeping him at arm’s length. She is wool socks, corduroys, and sweaters. She is apples and spices and cinnamon donuts. She is leaves and soccer and pumpkins. She is carnelian and ginger and the warmest yellow you’ve ever seen or felt. For me and others, of course, she is chalk and school books, buses and walks across campus in a sweatshirt and jeans.

I am longing for my fall, my home, right now. The 92-degree weather in central Ohio has me hurting bad, aching for the familiar scents and scenes of fall in Western New York. It has me wondering how I got here and whether I can ever learn to love the Buckeyes. There’s charm and wonder here, too, of course. And cool weather and changing colors are, of course, on their way to this part of the world. But nothing about fall in Columbus feels right to me. Fall here is this other beast, this rhythm and this set of sounds and smells that I don’t understand. The fall that lives inside my bones, the fall I know because it grew into me, it aches this time of year in Columbus because it knows it’s out of place. It knows it’s out of sync.

Columbus can only become home to me, really, when my body learns its cadence – when the patterns of its life are also the patterns of my own. And yet I resist its pulls and pulses. I wallow in the seasons of my own childhood, in the sensations I’ve always known, holding fast against the tides of this new life and its places and paths.

I am defiant.

I am steadfast.

I am lonely for a place.

Fall is a poem metered by the places we come from. It is a song sung to the tunes of our childhoods.



5 Responses to “Fall”

  1. 1 Lawyer Mama

    Beautiful way to describe Fall, Julie – “Fall is a poem metered by the places we come from. It is a song sung to the tunes of our childhoods.” It’s true though. Fall in SE Virginia doesn’t feel right to me either. I’ve lived here 2 years and I’m sure eventually I’ll get used to going immediately from Summer to Fall without much of a transition or foliage.

  2. 2 dana

    I love this post. I can feel your ache for your home!

    I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that way and I realized it’s because I live in the house I grew up in (my husband and I bought it from my parents). I’ve never lived anywhere else. Hmmm.

    The last line of your post is the best. :)

  3. 3 Julie Pippert

    Beautiful. :)

    Yes, I miss Fall too, horribly, so much so I must go find it.

    It strikes me SO WEIRD that leaves turn brown and fall here…while it’s still a humid 98 degrees.

    It’s like they want fall too.

    Using My Words

  4. 4 Jozet


    “Fall is a poem metered by the places we come from. It is a song sung to the tunes of our childhoods.”

    Yes, yes, and yes….

  5. 5 Christina

    That was beautiful.

    But I have a secret – I, too, long for a fall similar to the one you describe. This is not the typical fall weather for Columbus, I swear. Normally at this time the weather is in the low 70’s during the day and fades to a crisp, chilly evening air. “Football weather” is how fall is described here (of course).

    I can’t wait for the real fall to get here, behind schedule. We’re planning trips to the pumpkin farms, hayrides, hot apple cider, and warm, soft sweatshirts. Fall is my favorite time of year, and right now I’m feeling cheated by summer not leaving when she was clearly told to.

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