Friday, October 12, 2012

Last Autumn

While driving home from school today, I realized how gorgeous of a day it is. The leaves are all turning colors, and the sun is out. It's that crisp sort of autumn day, where it's cold enough to wear a sweatshirt and a scarf, but warm enough to keep wearing basketball shorts and flip-flops, not that I dress like that or anything...

Anyways, I suddenly realized that this is (most likely) the last fall I'll spend in the United States for a very long time. I've lived here for seventeen years now, and have never missed a fall. But now, I wonder whether the trees in Swaziland turn yellow the way they do here. In what season do the clouds look like this in Swaziland? I know October, while fall here, is spring there, so what is October in Swaziland? What season is the acceptable "scarf-sweatshirt-shorts-and-flip-flops" season?

It's our last marching band game tonight. I know marching band, much less band at all, isn't a thing at the UWC, or in Swaziland at all. Will I go to a college with a marching band? Will the people at the college I go to have even heard of marching band? Or, will this be the last time I ever pick up a sousaphone and march around wearing overalls, a beret, and a cape. And for that matter, will I ever see  an American football game in America again? Or, is this the last one?

Halloween is coming up. Does that even exist outside of the United States? Was the pumpkin I carved last night while babysitting my last pumpkin? Veteran's Day is coming, and I'm approaching the last time I'll be able to go to the Veteran's Day ceremony at my elementary school. Thanksgiving is coming, and I know that's not a thing outside of the United States.

All in all, so much of what we consider "fall" in the United States is very, well, American. For better or for worse, you can't find a lot of this stuff outside the States. While a lot of the time, I insist that I won't really miss America, going through autumn one last time is making me realize that missing America doesn't mean missing the country, it means missing the terrible marching band arrangements of pop songs, missing wearing flip-flops late in the year, missing going trick-or-treating with my friends, even though we should have aged out of it years ago. So, yes, I suppose I'm finally realizing that I will miss it.

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