You have always been my favorite.
I love your promise of cooler temperatures and vibrant colors, and your scents of spices and freshly baked pumpkin-everything.
You, with your soft, warm blankets, oversized sweatshirts, and fluffy socks, are what I long for when the ocean air has grown stagnant and the sand is overcrowded with bodies crammed against the dunes and swatting at no-see-ums as the tide rolls in.
It must be hard for you to follow Summer’s long, sunny days and happy vacations.
She’s the fun one, the highly anticipated one, the sought-after-by-teachers-and-students-everywhere one, and the please-don’t-ever-end one.
Still, I crave you.
I eagerly anticipate your arrival and the quiet beach days you bring, days when my treasured island becomes uncongested and almost desolate except for the speck of movement that can be seen far in the distance.
You, Fall, have always been my longed-for one.
Still, this year, it feels as though you betrayed me.
I know it’s not your fault, and I’m sorry that I have pinned all the blame on you, but Hurricane Season has never caused this much trouble for my happy place before.
For the last ten years, Hurricane Season has felt shorter and less chaotic.
But this year, the season of menace imposed itself over your months to put on a destructive show, wreaking havoc on my home away from home.
Hurricane Flo dumped unprecedented amounts of rain all along the Eastern Coast, washing out roads and bridges, flooding homes, and toppling trees.
Now my island is desolate, its solitude much different than the kind I longed for before.
The sand still carries remnants from Flo’s unwanted visit and her left-behind murky pools of water reek. Meanwhile, Hurricane Season churns on, threatening more harm to my tranquil abode.
Dear Fall, I hold hope Hurricane Season’s inconsiderate visits won’t spoil the fun we planned.
No, my trustworthy Fall, while the waters gradually recede and the sun reappears from behind gray clouds, bringing with it blue skies and warming rays, I know you will sneak in to return as always and restore a gentle peace to the island and its horizontally striped lighthouse.
The banging of hammers will be accompanied by the rustling of wind through the leaves. The newly replaced DQ sign will announce a special fall flavor. Potted mums will pop up around the island in assorted colors. And I will notice you.
I will slip my fuzzy socks into a pair of flip-flops and, with my beach chair and new book in hand, I will find an empty spot along an uncrowded shore and bask in the warmth of your mild days while my precious Oak Island embraces my chosen season and all of her beloved inhabitants all over again.
Oh My Dearest Fall, isn’t it obvious? No matter what happens or what other people say, you will always be my most loved season.