It’s starting.  As in year’s past, slowly at first.  A splash of red, yellow or orange spotted out of the corner of my eye.  A slight briskness in the air on an early morning walk.  A single leaf dancing gently towards the ground as I walk by a centuries old tree that has seen this particular shift so many times before.  Come to think of it, so have I.  And yet, I still marvel at it every September: the gentle transition from summer to fall.

Fall is without a doubt my favourite season.  I heart everything about it.  The brazen colours splashed across the treetops like a paint by numbers gone wrong.  The crisp cool air that sends me running back inside to grab an extra layer as I head out for a run in what looked like a warm summer day from inside.  The loud crunching beneath my feet as I wander down sidewalks paved in fallen leaves.  And the sweaters.  God, I love the sweaters.  Feeling all snugly and warm wrapped up in a soft wool hug of a sweater.  Bliss.

Spent the weekend welcoming my favourite season.

First, a Saturday hike in Gatineau Park.  In the company of one Mr. Jones.

If you’re a regular reader and wondering why I haven’t mentioned Jones much before, it’s because he’s not living with me right now.  I say right now ‘cus his future is an issue we’re still struggling to figure out.  Ugh, tough stuff.  But all forgotten as my favourite four legged creature and I communed with nature on this beautiful early fall day.

Then, seeing as we were just a short drive away, popped into my favourite Wakefield, Quebec bakery (Pipolinka) to buy some yummy vegetarian tortiere for dinner.  Watching all the happy people out wandering the main street along the river in this lovely little town put a big smile on my face.  If I ever decide I’m done with urban life, there’s a good chance you’ll find me nestled in a river-side cottage out this way.

Sunday was all about the Ottawa Farmer’s Market at Landsdowne Park.

Met up with my friend J, who I hadn’t seen since May, to brunch, shop and catch up.  Sadly, she’s about to head out of town herself so we won’t get to reconnect again for a while, but her Northern Ontario job-venture (job that’s an adventure) sounds like an excellent growth opportunity so I’m happy for her if a bit sad to say goodbye so soon after saying hello again.

Bought so. many. delicious. things.  Fell in L-O-V-E with these perfectly ripe baby tomatoes.

Like, remember when you were a kid and you said you loved something and some other smart ass witty kid would be all, “if you love it so much why don’t you marry it?”  I would totally marry these tomatoes.  Forget grapes.  So done with strawberries.  Have decided sweet baby tomatoes are the most sensual food on the planet.  Soft and smooth on the outside, just the right size to roll around in your mouth a few times before you gently bite into them and release a burst of juicy flavour . . .

Sorry, sidetrack ; )

This is what I cooked with all the goodies I bought.  Heaven in a roasting pan.  Yum.

Amid all my worshiping of autumn’s beauty, spent a bit of time thinking about why I love this season so much.  The aesthetic certainly agrees with me.  Red’s my favourite colour, and it is everywhere this time of year.  And I’ve always preferred weather that falls somewhere between the extremes of summer (40 degrees Celsius with the humidex) and and winter (minus 40 degrees Celsius with the wind chill) in Eastern Ontario.

But, it’s more than that.  I think for me, fall represents a late in the game chance at a new beginning.  On the surface it seems like things are winding down.  Nature’s slowly putting away it’s outdoor furniture as it readies for the great chill that’s to come.  But it’s not over yet.  The new year is still a few colourful, crisp months away.  And those months are do-or-die time to make something of your year.

So, like an athlete being given a chance to start mid-way through a season spent warming the bench, and knowing with absolute certainty that getting out there and kicking some a** is the difference between an automatic return to second string next season or a real shot at first, I am driven by the mixture of excitement and nervousness that the opportunity fall presents makes me feel.  ‘Cus I know if I don’t seize this moment, I will live to regret it.

Given the year I’ve had, would definitely say am more driven this year than ever to seize this autumnal opportunity.  Not to suggest I didn’t just finish an amazing summer.  I definitely did.  But as much as I enjoyed my travels, I think my blog has made clear my status as a temporary nomad was more about getting to a better place than wandering for the pure pleasure of it.  So now, back from my adventures, feeling stronger, happier and no longer homeless, I am determined to end the year on a positive.

Would say I got a good start this weekend.  Now I just need to build on that momentum and make my way crunchily through a fall filled with many more golden moments.  Can’t wait.