I wasn’t born in September, but I suppose in a past September I (or someone) decided for me to come here, on Earth. Autumn is my favourite season and I have a kind of nostalgia every time fall starts.
It’s about colours, lights, sunsets and smells. Especially smells. That special scent that comes from the narrow streets of my native town, Ploiesti, a smell of roasted eggplants and bell peppers that reminds me it’s Autumn again.
Leaves will soon fall, the days will shorten, the weather will be cooler and cooler and the memories brighter and brighter. Yes, Autumn has a special nostalgia that fits me. It’s neither too romantic, nor too obvious, it’s just there whenever you don’t expect it.
On your way to the supermarket, on your way to your job, on your way to an every day activity and, for a moment, you feel like life gives you a short break in a different, magical world.
In all this idyllic picture, smells, food and textures play an important part.
Again, they mix so weirdly, but so naturally with different memories and people we loved or still love.
I don’t drink wine, but whenever September comes and I see grape juice or wine, I remember my childhood years at the countryside: all my relatives would harvest the grapes and then begin that special ritual in our yard: in a tank, we would then place the grapes and smash them to make juice grape that, after a while, turned into wine.
Sometimes, my grandmother would wash her feet and smash the grapes with her bare feet, thing that amused and impressed us, the children, so much.
My aunt who is now left in another world would stay forever in the kitchen in September: she used to make us jams, marmelade, a traditional Romanian food from roasted eggplants, tomatoes and bell peppers named “zacusca” and also the best tomato juice in the world.
During that time, I was eating pancakes and she used to do the best pancakes with plums jam and wallnuts (the best recipe, but I should rethink it with a gluten free flour).
It’s amazing how a mother, an aunt can do so many for the children she loves without rest, without complaining, just being driven by so much love.
I have a nostalgia for the past Autumn fairs that were held in my town. Maybe they are organized today too, but it is not the same. I don’t think the products are to blame, but the people.
We were kinder to each other, we were more enthusiasts about those gatherings with music, wine, traditional food, “zacusca”, grapes, plums, pear and a special food made from mutton, called “pastrama”.
Besides food and loved people who are not here physically by my side, Autumn reminds me of my past self.
I don’t live in a perfect world and I don’t live in a perfect town (being it Ploiesti or Timisoara – I feel at home in both), but everytime Autumn comes I remember how I used to go walking in Ploiesti and made dreams for myself. Deprivation of different things – being politeness, opportunities, kindness, mentors etc. – this deprivation can help an individual so much even if now we tend to blame it.
I think this is what Autumn – with its rays of light, sunsets and cold days – has given to me – the power to dream, to believe, to search, to try.
I am no longer as excited as I was in the past – and this thing scares me – but something happens there, in my brain and my heart – and I think is so important to keep it, to feel it, to share it and then to transform it in something beyond my present understanding.