Saturday, October 12, 2019

Fall has arrived, what does it mean?

Well, if we think about Fall in the general idea of the term, it just means the start of a very depressing season, which is winter.
Yet, there is more, and there are as many meanings as there are human beings on this planet. We all have different feelings towards it.
For some people, it means the starting of the spring with blooming colors, the green of the grass, and flowers.
For others, it means getting cozy in front of a fireplace, or wrapped into a warm blanket on the couch reading a book, or watching the snow falling.
What I mean with different meanings, is the memories we carry inside our souls, those that give a real feeling when we simply spell the word fall.
I have had the chance to live the Fall season in three different wonderful countries. Italy, Germany, and Finland. I have been visiting many places, but those meant for me the everyday life for a specified period. Italy for 28 years, Germany for 4 years and Finland for 15 years.
Each place gave me different feelings, and all of them, I am treasuring in my heart.
Italy has the taste of my childhood. Of the times before the Internet, mobile phones, computers. Most of them convey to one single place, or to be precise to one single item, the iron cast wood burning stove of my grandmother.
Every fall, we would have gathered the whole family to help my grandmother to store the wood she ordered to be delivered at home. The truck arrived and unloaded the pile of chopped wood in front of her house. There, we would have spent one whole day to bring them in the wood storage that was on the entrance of her home, a large room placed at the entrance divided from the rest of the house. Since she didn't have any other heating system in her house other than two iron cast stove and another wood burning heater.

That meant a huge amount of chopped wood to be stored for the winter.
Another tradition was roasting the chestnuts on that stove, and that was something that still brings me a broad smile on my face. Our family, when still my grandmother was alive, was almost always gathered in her house.
The years I have spent in Germany meant the starting for the preparation for the Christmas market. Some cities have their traditional Christmas market already in November. Therefore, October was a time when we started thinking about where to go for the Christmas Market.

At that time, I was studying at university. That meant that December I would have spent the time back at home in Italy, and we wouldn't have the time to visit them all, or at least not together.
In Europe, we do not celebrate Halloween. We do have the celebration for all saint's day. This means going to visit the graveyards, (although this is something we do regularly, for that day we bring special flowers and candle lights). Some people go to church in honor of the dead people, but that would be all the celebrations. Some fairs are organized last for the two-three weeks between October and November, but nothing spook-related.
Since I started to live in Finland, Fall means mostly the amazingly beautiful colors with which nature gives a good night, before being immersed in the long darkness of the winter. People get together in the cafeterias waiting for the snow, which gives the impression of more light to shine in our lives.

Finland, like most of the other Nordic countries, waits for winter, only for one reason, winter sports, which includes a lot of snow, hot chocolates, crowded cinemas, getting together with the family, and wait for the Spring.
One day, I hope I will be able to experience my everyday life in the southern hemisphere. There, I will get used to waiting for the Summer in October and for the Winter in June... How crazy that might sound!
I wish you a great weekend and a spooktacular Fall.

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