Fall has arrived.  Autumn is upon us now.  The afternoons are lazy in the warmth of the sun, that now, seems to set ever so early.  The days growing shorter by the minute – each of them warning us that winter is about to come with its dark days and cold nights.  In the park today, children played with their mothers chasing them around the grass that is slowly turning brown, grandmothers kept watch over their small dogs – old men standing around in sweaters as if prepared for the first snow talking about the weather, politics and their health problems.  A man in shorts and a tank top teaches his two young sons how to kick a soccer ball, they aren’t very good yet, but that is the point of practicing in the park on such a lovely fall afternoon.  The air has little hints of smoke lofting around in it – it comes into our apartment sometimes, and fills our dining room with the aroma of wood.  That to me is the essential smell of fall.  The thoughts of campfires and s’mores.  For me it is essential, for her, it is the smell of roasting chestnuts in the streets.  They have just started, and it seems a bit premature, what with these warm afternoons.  The mornings are cool and now we keep the windows open just a small amount when we wake up.  Coffee is a most welcome site visually and in smell.  Sometimes in the summer, having something so hot in the morning feels a bit strange, but alas, we are accustomed to our a.m. coffee, necessary as it is.  So it is with that I welcome the cooler mornings.  Amazingly, some mosquitoes have survived, and are angrily buzzing around our apartment, looking for a victim.  They find my feet first, and so now I constant try to wear socks in the house – luckily this to goes along with cooler nights and mornings.

This little hamlet, this little place among places is not unlike others in its conventions or habits.  Why is it though that she and I are drawn here with such veracity?  She and I, we are not able to really explain it in words that do it justice, mostly because we don’t understand ourselves.  It is an existential process of becoming familiar and comfortable with a place to call one’s own.  Even more so with a new person who is becoming your other half.  We are sharing things, including our fears.  These, for me, are more easily pronounced in these months to come when the days are not inviting you outside with sun and warmth, but instead keeping you from venturing out into the natural world.  Our lives become indoor lives, those of us who cook can relish in the fact that we are able to spend our weekend days in the kitchen, preparing hearty and warming meals.  Passing the time there is not work, but pure joy.  The joy of creating, the joy of consuming.


Our shared passion for wine is also more pronounced in the fall and winter when it suddenly becomes more fashionable to drink a vigorous red than a terse white.  We’ve been saving a few choice bottles for our winter drinking months.  As a supplement or as a necessary adversary to the depression that sometimes hits us so hard this time of year, wine can play many roles.  Feeding our thoughts of melancholy, or simply nourishing our laughter among friends in a cozy locale.


Our lives.  Completed by the seasons that change and remind us to change with them.  That change is good, and necessary for the transition from one point to another.  Not to be overlooked, forgotten – but embraced and contemplated.



Moonlight Portugal

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