A Midwesterner’s View of Autumn in Mississippi/by Meredith Stratmann

Hailing from the great state of Missouri, I grew up with pretty scenic fall seasons. Missouri certainly isn’t known for its views, but for just a few magical weeks, the world would transform into an array of shockingly bright colors. 

When I first came to college three years ago, I was surprised by the things that I deeply missed. First, the lack of cats hit me (MC’s feral cats do not count). And second, there was no intense beauty of fall. Sure, that one tree by the caf turns nicely, and some of the trees by the physical plant become a pretty red. But the fall that I know and love is so much more than that.

It’s going for long drives on small country roads, just taking in the colors. I’m talking about complete forests where every tree is its own unique warm color.  It’s the memories of raking big piles of leaves with my dad just to jump in and send them flying in every direction. 

A true fall involves picking your own apples and making an apple pie with the leftovers. It’s the actual need for a sweater, or a bonfire to keep you warm while you sip hot apple cider and eat cider doughnuts. 

It’s the satisfying crunch of the leaves under your feet as you walk. The very essence of autumn–that waking up to a crisp morning where the fog cloaks the bright leaves–it’s truly an unexplainable sensation, and one I hope everyone has the chance to experience at some point. Words do not do it justice. 

Of course, Mississippi has some aspects of fall. Pumpkin carving, haunted houses, scary movies, hayrides, and pumpkin spice are all fun parts of the autumn season here. I love all of these things so I don’t want to discount them. But to me, it just seems incomplete. There are no breathtaking scenes and a complete lack of apple representation. 

I know I’m just sentimental for the good ole days, but each year I’ve been at MC, and I have not experienced a full fall, I’ve missed it more and more. I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to see it this year either. Who is to say where I’ll go after graduation, but having a complete fall is at the top of my list. 

I want to encourage you the reader to truly soak in every bit of fall that you experience this year. Bask in that first day, when a crisp breeze hits you, even if it is the last week of school. Go to the pumpkin patch and make those good little Pillsbury cookies with the ghosts on them. Maybe even comment to your friends about that tree by the caf. 

This is the fall that we have and we should celebrate it. And if you ever get the chance to visit or move to a place where the autumn foliage is spectacular, cherish it. Soak it all in. It truly is one of God’s greatest gifts.

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