Autumn in Michigan

We all experience seasons in one way or another no matter where we live, thanks to our varying position relative to the sun and changing day lengths. Even here in coastal California we have four seasons, subtle as they may appear at times. But there are some places where the seasons are defined with such clarity, that it nearly transcends the place itself.

Michigan is one of those places.  I was lucky enough to spend 16 years of my life growing up there and have been coming back to visit family ever since. While I certainly have strong childhood memories of  the thick blankets of snow after a winter blizzard and the twinkling of fireflies on a humid summer night, it is autumn where Michigan really shows its colors. (and it is in Michigan where Autumn showed hers to the family)

It is an intimate season, with quiet evenings around the fire with family and friends, and solitary runs on country roads. It is a time when sunlight, rich in color, casts long shadows through kitchen windows where the season’s last tomatoes await their culinary fate. And It is a time when the lush canopies of oak, maple, and poplar burst into a grand finale of color before returning to the earth to repeat the cycle.

I also find it refreshing to step outside the cultural/tech/foodie incubator that is the Bay Area — so full of superlatives and innovation and forward thinking — and spend a few days in a place that a little more understated, yet utterly content in the present.

I am thankful for this place called the mitten state, with its distinctive seasons and quiet beauty. And above all, I’m grateful for my family who live there. It will always be a home to me.

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