We haven`t plugged in the kotatsu and heaters yet, but it probably won`t be long. We went ahead and bought another thick, fuzzy blanket, which we`ve already added to our futon.
Another reason that I know it`s fall is because my junior high school recently had their fall festival, which is their biggest event of the year. The students prepared art work and skits for weeks. Parents came and toured the school. There were concerts and mini "field trips" for the kids. Students got to choose a special course to take for a few hours one day. There was ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) a mechanic course, a cake-making class, and a bunch of other classes ranging from fishing to learning to play the shamisen. Later that day, we had a jump rope tournament in the gym, which made me think of the mini games in Mario Party.
Now, the students are switching to their cold-weather uniforms and soon the mountains will be covered in bursts of orange, red, and yellow. Fall has always been my favorite season, but especially in Japan. I love the chill in the air that isn`t as harsh as winter`s chill. I love the anticipation of Halloween and my birthday. I love eating pumpkin and chestnuts (which are very popular in Japan in autumn). I`ll miss mellowcreme pumpkins, though.
I`ll be 25 this fall. I thought that I would feel old and a little closer to insanity with this birthday, but in light of recent events, I just feel grateful to be where I am and grateful to be healthy. Some people don`t even get 25 years on this Earth, and even more people don`t ever get to travel with someone that they love.
And I decided to dress as Lady Gaga for Halloween. I don`t know what I`m doing for Halloween yet, but my favorite part of the holiday has always been coming up with costumes. I will wear my ridiculous costume somewhere, and I will have fun.
I need this new season. I need the leaves to die and blow away. I need for the air to feel different and for my hair to grow out. Maybe it`s cliche, but I feel like only good things are coming.