I wore a plaid blouse yesterday. I matched it with a pleated skirt and thick tights and soft suede boots. It was the kind of outfit October was designed for, the kind I always wanted to wear on the first day of school but didn't because it was still sundress weather. I grew up in coastal Texas, where seasonal changes are marked more by holiday wreaths than dramatic shifts in temperature and fall foliage equates to a spinach salad. Autumn was a mythical period I'd seen in a few movies, a brief but magical time when bulbous orange fruits and piles of brittle, multi-hued leaves blanket the ground and the chilly air smells faintly of apple pie cooling on a windowsill.
I had to see this for myself. So I ran away from home, into the woods of the northeast.
Everything I'd heard was true.
The leaves came in every color of the sunset, and clung tight to the long bent arms of the strong, narrow trees.
Some of them couldn't hold on anymore, so they loosened their grips and drifted slowly to the ground.
I kicked the toe of my boot through the piles of fallen leaves and watched them rise and fall like confetti.
I had finally experienced this mysterious season called autumn. And it was golden.