Autumn in Calgary

It's strange to be back in a place that has an autumn. Strange, but nice. I never fully realized just how much I'd missed the falling leaves and colder temperatures until I found myself meandering around the parks of Calgary, crunching through those same leaves and shivering into my sweater. 

At the risk of sounding smarmy, there is something uniquely magical about fall. Something about the dying of nature, the last, gasping breath of the year. Or, perhaps the last stretch and yawn of the year before settling in for a long winter's nap. Everything burns vibrantly in yellows and oranges and reds. Like each plant is showing its brightest fire before being snuffed out. 

And Calgary came in strong with the cold. September has had snowy days and freezing rain. I've ordered more sweaters and sweatshirts--I'd almost forgotten what it was to need them! But there's comfort too in an oversized cardigan and a blanket across your lap--a comfort that was missing in Houston. A comfort that I'd lived too long without. 

But the thing is about this beautiful Canadian makes me miss Michigan fiercely. Everywhere I look I can't help but compare to the fire-flame reds and golds of Michigan trees, the abundance of Michigan apples, the pumpkins and cool weather and autumnal splendor of my Great Lakes State home. 

Will I ever return? Does it matter? Could the Michigan of my memory and my imagination ever measure up to the real thing? Or is it instead better to live elsewhere, to shiver through other autumns,  and dream of a Michigan that used to be, that I used to know so well, that really never was.

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