“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers…”


“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.”

OCTOBER – Robert Frost

Morning mist over Kibagabaga

Autumn: forever my seasonal boo. It’s jumper and scarves time, crisp walks in the woods time, apple and blackberry crumble with l-a-s-h-i-n-g-s of custard time. Despite the dropping of leaves and the drawing in of nights, autumn is a renewal, a promise of freshness deep into the year.

I know, I know, pretty #basic but hey – I know what I like.

So living in a new climate that is essentially endless spring and summer is – and please, keep those tomatoes to yourself – actually super boring. Every day is t-shirt weather, but never shorts weather unless you’re not leaving your garden, because women here rarely wear anything above the knee. Sticking to things is commonplace. Even with the East African sun I am still not even close to what your average-skinned person would call ‘A Tan’. Heinous of all, I rarely get to break out a jumper, except for every now and then during the rainy season when the heavens open and dump fat, splattering rain onto dusty roads and the floors are briefly chilly against my bare feet.

That said, I actually shivered yesterday in 17º heat because ‘all’ I was wearing was a long sleeved breton, and one made of decently thick material at that. I think I’ve lost all claims to being a Yorkshire woman. Being from Yorkshire is all about never wearing a coat when you’re out-out and not admitting you’re ever cold.

No wait, that’s being 21, sorry.

…I’m missing my autumn something fierce. Though it turns out endless spring and summer don’t necessarily mean avoiding the common cold, with the added bonus of playing But…Is This Malaria? It’s highly unlikely, but we don’t sleep under nets and my blood is like fine wine to the mosquitos of Nyarutarama, so…I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, drink a PSL for me (decaf, soy milk; go the full basic white girl stereotype I beg you) and bathe in the fresh, intoxicating air of autumn. On the last of the sunny days, wrap up, head outside, and lay on a bench under a tree to watch the leaves shaken away in the breeze. Eat chicken noodle soup. Watch You’ve Got Mail (“Don’t you just love New York in the fall?”) and My Fair Lady and Hocus Pocus. Go for runs in the spitting rain and let it cool your hot face. Revel in it. The world is regenerating before us and soon (whisper it) CHRISTMAS.


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