Take time to appreciate ‘the glorious magic of fall in the Midwest’

A year ago, I was studying abroad in southern France. I had been promised a semester of warm air and sunshine, a chance to escape “that horrible Midwest weather.”

And believe me, I’m now an official Francophile. If you have the opportunity to go, run — don’t walk — to sign up. The truth is, however, the mild Provence winters trend toward the bottom of my semester abroad Top 10 list. Warm brioche, a host family that had become dear friends, a history and culture that fascinate — that is what I dream of now.

But as October slips into the countdown to Halloween, it’s the Midwest weather I’m savoring and gloating over. And I dare anyone from Florida to the French Riviera to try and challenge me on that.

I know what’s to come — January and February. Inevitably, campus again will be a place held hostage to cold, wind and a dark, drunken dreariness.

I know that three months from today, I’ll frantically be checking for last minute deals to any place warm. If the past is any predictor of the future, I might even being calling home to see if I have any long lost great aunts living in Miami.

But not this month. Not today.

I’m charmed hook, line and sinker by the colors, scents, smells and feel of a quintessential Midwest autumn. And for now, it’s I who gloat.

As it turns out, one of the things I learned last year is that it does get somewhat cold in the south of France. After the second week in September, the Provencal population stows away its bikinis, iced cafes and bronzee for trench coats, chocolate chaud and, yes, berets.

But there’s no transformation of the colors, scents and smells of home. Actually, the leaves hardly transformed into a muddy green let alone the hues of brown, red, yellow and orange that are now slowly edging their way to glory all over campus. And while burning leaves have been trumped by cleaner air, somehow, now that I’m back home, I can also most smell them.

It’s a time of year of fleeting magic moments — a reminder that sometimes you live in the moment or you miss out big time.

As someone who frets over yesterday’s mistakes and worries about tomorrow’s challenges, it’s my favorite time of year. It’s a crimson time, so beautiful in its crispness and made even more beautiful by its fleeting magic.

So whether, like me, you’re a senior wrapped up in the world of job hunts and a senior thesis or a freshman still figuring the layout of the Quad, I invite you to join me. Buy a pumpkin, go for a walk and rejoice for a bit about the gloriously magic of fall in the Midwest.

_Rebecca is a senior in LAS._