School year is about to start, which draws me back to one thing, as I sit here much farther south than I want to be come September: New England.
Over the course of a lifetime growing up and living in Connecticut and Massachusetts, I watched for the first yellow leaves of the aspens which brought tears to my eyes and made my heart leap a little. I counted the turning colors through the birches, the maples and oaks over about a six to eight week period. The scent of the air, changing ions, changing ozone put my head into an entirely different and timeless place.
The photo above is from my last New England apple picking, a tradition that was a strong part of my boys' early upbringing. It's mid-October, the height of leaf peeping season in Massachusetts, and the height of the most flavorful apple picking, too. We lived a few miles down the road from this orchard, which was the boys' favorite.
Now, especially since I developed an allergy to apples, I feel especially nostalgic for the crisp bite of a MacIntosh, Roma or Gala picked right from the tree, under a stormy sky as a late afternoon storm approaches to beat the vibrant purple, red and gold leaves from the trees onto the ground.
Addendum: I forgot to credit Christine E-E for coming up with this week's weekword! See who else is participating over on her blog.