Seriously, you guys: I love fall.

I’ve loved it as long as I can remember. The twin October holidays of Halloween and my birthday probably deserve most of the credit for making it seem so delightful when I was a kid. For a long time, it marked the exciting beginning of a new school year, or even a new school. Every year when it starts getting cooler, I still think about my first few weeks of college, and the beginning of every year when everyone would come back to campus after months away.

In more recent years, I’ve come to appreciate the changing season more than anything else. The summers in DC can be brutal, and the chilling air and early sunset is a welcome reprieve. I like walking home from work on a dark, breezy evening, more than I think most people do. Not to mention, Starbucks only has the Pumpkin Spice Latte for a couple of months.

The past couple years, fall has passed me by. I was too busy working to enjoy it two years ago, and I don’t know what happened last year, but it got away from me somehow. It’s made me all the more present and conscious this year; I’m paying more attention as I walk the streets, drinking in as much of the evening chill as I can because I know it won’t last long. In no time at all, we’ll be bundled in jackets and scarves again, slogging through the measly snow that DC gets but the city can’t quickly remove, and once again I’ll be counting the days till the next October.