While August takes its last breath, Autumn has come to Ireland. Those late night sunsets and early morning wake-up calls giving way to dark skies in time for bed. Matt crouches beside an outdoor fire, smelling of Colorado and camp singalongs. We fashion smores here with chocolate digestive biscuits, which is really the better way to do it, anyway. Who hasn't lost a Hershey square or two from lack of melting?
This was meant for Asher's birthday, but company and cool rain postponed the crowning event. He's not keen on cake, but could live off biscuits. And marshmallows on sticks. And cardboard, but that's beside the point. It's still summer holidays, and we - who never plan much more than a week in advance and dread the long days and endless Wii fights - we are eeking out a bit more of this season.
Fall is my very favourite thing, as we Americans calls it. My Irish friends think it's such a strange name, lacking the colour of Autumn, the rhythm of it.
Whatever name you choose, wherever we are, my favourite memories are coloured in Autumn. They smell of Autumn. And when he strikes up the chiminea and I open our window, I smell chili cookoffs and football season and first day of class and falling in love.
I bounce and stir on a hayride, waiting to see if he'll touch my hand.
I trace Chicago leaves as they turn and drape the city streets.
I ride my bike to the bookshop, feeling every ounce of fresh freedom.
I am pregnant and cuddled under a blanket on a balcony, counting kicks.
I see my mother and her umbrella at the meeting of the waters.
In Kansas, come this time, I am always desperate for it: this smell, the crackling, the turn of the weather. But here, it surprises me with its promptness. Autumn arrives on time in Ireland. Early, even. And before I know it, before I prepare myself with pumpkin spiced recipes and early season sweater sales,
I am homesick. For everywhere.
I can't help it, can't shake it, but I wouldn't even want to.
Soon, I'll be homesick for this memory, too.