Now that October has shown its face, I find myself sweating in 80 feels-like-90 degree weather, dreaming about varied leaf colors and vibrant apple orchards. The kind of climate where riding boots and a sweater rendered you just warm enough for a crisp, fall day. Here in Miami, no such euphoria exists. I’m stranded in the land of 2 “seasons”: rain, and no rain.
A couple weeks ago I asked my coworker what people do down here in terms of fall festivals, and she only laughed, telling me that unless I want to make cider out of mangoes or prance through a sugarcane maze, then I won’t be partaking in any sort of fall festivities this far south. Disappointed, all I wanted to do was bury myself in a pile of fallen maple leaves and hide where Miami could never find me again. What sort of place is this? What is October without being able to pick honeycrisp apples or go on a hay ride?? It used to be, and still is, my favorite season, which is why I was tempted to look up the price of a plane ticket north before I remembered how broke I am.
So instead, I’m forced to recreate my own little autumn here in sunny South Florida, complete with candy corn, transplant pumpkins, and homemade cinnamon applesauce. And you better believe that I will be donning my boots and cable-knit sweater inside my apartment, movie theaters, and other air-conditioned facilities. And as I smell my autumn candle goin’, I’ll reminisce about how frustrating it was trying to rake the lawn free of reddish-orangey-brown leaves when I was a little girl, knowing that they’d only replenish the next day. And how I’d search the pumpkin patch for hours for that one perfect pumpkin, knowing that at night I’d watch my dad carve something creative into it.
For those living in tropical areas who have never experienced a true fall before, I urge you to venture north. As for everyone else who gets to live fall for the full 90-or-so days, consider yourself lucky, and 10. Do something to celebrate the best season of the year. For example, in an act of desperation, E & I found a pumpkin patch in Coconut Grove a few weekends ago and jumped on the opportunity to pick out our pumpkins from an actual field instead of a designated section at Publix. The festival was clearly designed for children, and charged adults a $10 entrance fee, but we needed this. So with the sun beating down on us and the smell of arepas in the air, we ventured through the short corn maze and picked out a nice, big, $15 pumpkin. Okay sure, it was definitely a rip off. But it was just enough to satiate my autumn-hungry appetite. So pick out a pumpkin or two, bake a pie, invest in a quality sweater, and revel in all that is fall.