The fall equinox has passed and I couldn't be happier. Not only does this mean that this hell of year may actually end, but I grew up in a place where there were only two seasons, hot and slight less, and I always craved a real fall. So this year I am writing an ode to an Anchorage fall. And by an ode, I mean a list of reasons I like fall (the feels this week will be brought to you by Rachel).
True fall lovers will tell you that the best fall is a New England fall. But I’ve never been to New England and I’m certainly not going to head back east right now. Fall in Anchorage is highly underrated. Summer gets all the love. But quite frankly, the allure of the endless sun wanes quickly when you can’t spend every moment soaking it in. Some of us have to go to work in the morning and be grown ups. Until we find a way around that, fall will forever be my favorite for the following reasons:
Fall Sunsets are the best
Not only does the sun actually rise and set at a reasonable time, but it’s shockingly gorgeous. In the fall, the sun slowly melts into the horizon. As it shimmies down, the colors burst and break against the water and impossible shades of pinks, oranges, yellows, and red emerge. As the rest of the state begins to fade to winter, the icey reflections of the distant mountains only make this experience more breathtaking.
Yes, sweaters. I know, it’s always a little cold--to me--in Anchorage so sweaters could be part of my wardrobe yearlong, the fall sweater look holds a special place in my heart. As someone who grew up idolizing the wool skirt, dark tights, tucked in sweater, and knee high boots look, while also knowing that I would die of heat exhaustion if I ever attempted it, I look forward to the moments before we pile on all the layers, and I can embrace my inner pinterest girl. Though fall cools down quickly, there is a distinct season in which you can throw on a light jacket and a scarf for an easy fall look. As a side note, the other day a random woman in the grocery store told me that she loved my fall outfit--best day ever!
Along with the sunsets, fall brings a change of color. Summertime Anchorage again gets all the praise. The bursts of greeeeens everywhere are so alarming after a winter of white. However, I stand by the colors of fall. Everyday is like living in a new Monet painting. The swirl of leaves in the wind and the slow change from green, to gold, to red, to brown is truly beautiful. This change in color also provides a contrast to the summer when you never quite know what time it is, or even what day it is, it all blends together. The fall provides much needed distinction. You know that time is passing because you can feel it on skin and see it with your eyes.
Again, here, the summer gets all the attention. We’ve seen time after time the giant cabbages grown in Palmer. But who really likes cabbage that much? And who needs over 100lbs of cabbage-- no one. Fall brings in the harvest of zucchini, squash, pumpkins, broccoli, and all the other end of season goodies. Though you probably don’t have much need for an overwhelming amount of cabbage, nothing says fun like shredding some inappropriately sized zucchini and making enough baked goods to feed the neighborhood, right?
No summer guilt
We, and everyone else, have talked about how this summer wasn’t the summer we wanted. However, even with the different circumstances, there’s a certain amount of guilt that I feel in the summer when I’m not spending every free moment outside. Nothing makes you love something like scarcity, something about distance and the heart? That applies to sunshine and warmth during the summer. I know that winter is always coming and that I really should go on a walk, or a hike, or kayaking, or do something outside. But, a lot of the time all I really want to do is sit by my fireplace, drink tea, and read. Fall was made for this. There’s no shame in spending most of the day inside in the fall. While I try to get out for sunsets and a walk, I cherish the afternoon moments where I get to transition my kitchen from office back to kitchen and enjoy a cup of tea with a book. The summer for me is always filled with shoulds, constantly evaluating the opportunity cost of each activity, because I know I’ll only get so many Alaskan summers. But fall, beautiful fall, I am able to stay present and enjoy that day for whatever it brings.
This has nothing to do with Anchorage. But my birthday is in the fall and my little sister has always accused me of loving fall simply because it’s when my birthday is. She’s probably not wrong.
Cheers to unironically enjoying fall! Whether you live in Anchorage, or elsewhere, try to spend just a few moments luxuriating in this change of season. Grab your hot beverage of choice, preferably pumpkin, a good book, and take a peek outside. The world continues to be a dark place, but this fall, the light is hanging around a little longer.