Imagine with me if you will, that it’s chilly and raining outside…oh no wait! that is the weather if you’re in my dear little boonetown. The leaves have let go of their branches and free-fallen to the earth below. Leaving crisp outlines of scraggly, proud fingers reaching for the sky. Showing off their curves, and all their nooks and crannies. They are laid bare for the world to see. Every flaw unmasked by the absence of their leafy coats.

Except for a few that have held onto their vibrant, gaudy colors. The red and yellow seeming shockingly inappropriate on such a gray and somber day. Today the slender arms are a stark match for the cloud-gray sky, leaving the burnt reds and golden yellows in a class all their own. They missed the memo: work attire only, and have left on their party clothes form the night before. They stand out, these party trees. You can visibly see the dissent among the ranks of tall trunks. There aren’t many, only a few that have stood their ground against the onslaught of 30 degree days and brisk winds. But these few seem to be going strong, with no sign of giving in.

The rain was hovering all day, just waiting to release itself out of the harbor of clouds. It was almost like an exhale. Like the sky had been holding its breath all day, waiting till it could let it all go. Everything it had pent up all weekend, finally released to a dry earth below. Where piles of leaves soak up the damp and begin mixing their musty smell that will hover around campus for days.

It’s a day to stay inside, and look out the window. Nestled in a chair or the arms of someone you love. Hands curved around a warm mug of coffee. Breathing in the perfume rising from your mug in trails of steam…