I lived most of my life in a smallish town in Massachusetts, which was boring ¾ of the year. What was exciting about the other ¼ of the year? It wasn’t summer, although, being free from school was good. The best part of the year was the holidays, plain and simple, and it all really started with Fall. That’s when some of the most interesting elements of the season come together: it gets dark sooner; the moon seems to loom, all the time; the leaves change colors; the air turns brisk, and people start using their fireplaces again, creating a smell that could only be described as Fall, and I have yet to find a candle that has just that right scent.
“Why is New England so special?” you might ask. “A lot of other places have that stuff.” Sure, other places have the bright colors, or the chill in the air, but New England is one of the few areas that has every element of the holiday. Only about half of the country has the kind of temperature that’s brisk enough for fall. That’s like Xmas without snow. Fall is the time of year when the air gets enough bite that people start breaking out the flannel. I don’t know about you, but if I’m wearing shorts and sweating my eyebrows off, it just doesn’t feel the same. Also, many of the areas in the country either don’t have deciduous trees, (trees whose leaves change color), or the climate never really reaches a point where the leaves scatter in the wind and make everything Rockwell-esque.
Maybe there are other places that have the colors and the scents of New England, but I think the history of the area truly makes the experience. After all, we have Salem, the birthplace of The Witch Trials and many towns with colonial-style houses that go perfectly with the colors of Fall and the feelings of yore that seem to be associated with the season. I get feelings of awe and wonder walking around the town squares of small towns, you know, the ones that still have the buildings from the 1700s. It feels that way any time of the year. I dare say, without these old places to complete the tableau, it just isn’t the same.
Add some pumpkins and cornstalks, and even, twinkling lights, and you have a breath-taking and irresistible picture that lasts a couple of months out of the year. Take away just one piece of this puzzle, and it comes up lacking. New England feels like the perfect culmination of elements, like a clash of different eras. Fall in New England is its very own epoch.
Have some great Fall photos of New England, or anywhere else, for that matter? Share a link in the comments. We’d all love to see them. Don’t have any yet? Take some.