Two truths and a lie:

1. I was nude under my graduation gown.
2. I love autumn.
3. I ate guacamole with a spoon and loved it.

Go ahead, guess which factoid is the false one.

It’s #2. Did you guess that? Who hates autumn, right? It’s the season when things finally cool off after a sweltering southern summer, the leaves are jewel tones of gorgeousness, the air is crisp and you can pull on a cozy sweater and enjoy hot cider, the air smells like bonfires, and there are pumpkins to carve and costumes to plan–what’s not to love? Dude, ALL of that is not to love if you’re me. I will admit that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and tonight, I put sparkly Halloween clingy decorations on my windows. But I love being warm all the time, and when it cools off, I never get warm. I would rather see lush spring leaves than crackly ones that are going to fall off the trees any minute. My style and comfort are in line with cutoffs and tank tops or sun dresses and sandals. Bonfires make me wheeze and smell like sadness to me. And the whole damn season just means that winter is coming next and winter is even worse with the seriously endless chill and the short days and nude trees.

People around here are all up on autumn. The other day after yoga, a friend of a friend gushed, “I’m so glad it’s getting cooler! This is my favorite time of year!” My beloved haircutter told me about how he loves bundling up and going on his annual autumn trip to Tennessee. It seems to energize and delight all of my friends, and then there’s me, the grinch who grits her teeth and says, “I’m glad you like it. I…don’t. But really, I’m glad you do! I miss summer, though.” I think the idea is that if you say, “Yea, autumn!” it’s like saying, “So how ’bout them Braves?” No one can argue, and it’s fool-proof small talk.

Today, I met with my mentor group for yoga teacher training. We met in a street-level yoga studio and left the door open for the fall air to join us. And my mentor and my yoga buddy always, always have the kind of presence that makes anyone around them feel lifted up, and the two of them are also autumn lovers. (They aren’t lovers with each other during the autumn. Or any other time. What I mean is that they’re both lovers of autumn. Oh, syntax!) They are wise and wonderful people who I respect deeply, and so, I did tell them, “I am not quite a lover of autumn,” but I also revealed my plan to them. My plan this year is to pretend to like autumn, and maybe I will eventually believe myself. And those two are the type who can make someone like me think, “How could I not like autumn?!” (Items in paragraph 1 notwithstanding.)

So today, I pretended to like autumn. I watched the sunrise progress in the clear, clear sky because it now happens late enough for me to witness. I put on layers and then shed them as I heated up at yoga with one of my favorite teachers. All day after that, I smelled like the jasmine essential oil she wears. I went to Barnes & Noble and read PostSecret books while eating a bagel from the cafe, and then went to the group meeting. And after that, moved down the street to my yoga buddy Jenn’s house. The requirements of the training are that we have to meet with our buddies weekly, but it’s not much of a requirement for us–we’d meet daily with no prodding because we are just that well-matched. She opened all of the doors in her apartment, we sat on the bed and petted her cat, Mr. Kitty. She gave me a tour of her garden and gifted me with plants from her porch and with books she no longer needs and with her lovely perspective. We chatted under the perfectly turquoise sky, warmed by the sun despite the cooler temps. “Maybe part of why I don’t like autumn,” I mused, “is because I still have trouble staying in the present. I only think, ‘Ugh, it’s going to be winter next. And I wish it were spring or summer.” Practically half of yoga is mindfulness, and that’s the challenge for me. Jenn and I hugged goodbye and I drove off with my widows open, listening to ’80s music, trying to be present. When I got back to my apartment, I opened my windows wide and worked on dream board like Jenn suggested while I listened to folk music and while Ramona tried to sit on my lap even though I was moving from magazine to magazine. I went to Target and ran into another friend from yoga teacher training and I got a hug in the middle of the store, and I bought a bulletin board for the project, as well as a hat because I told myself that a hat might make me enjoy the cold more. (I can justify anything.) Then I drank mango tea with Ramona purring on my lap. Today, I liked autumn, and I’m going to try it again tomorrow.

And yes, I was nearly-nude under my gown at convocation at a Methodist church. I was wearing underpants and a bra in case of some kind of major wardrobe malfunction.

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