Hints of Autumn

It’s December! Often that conjures up scents like evergreen trees and mulling spices, images of snow and the feeling of warmth and happiness. For the past two years, I’ve been living in a season-less country and there is no “feeling” of December. It’s a bit surreal at times, especially when holidays sneak up on you because you don’t have the changing weather to tell you what’s coming next. I’ve forgotten more holidays than I can count, mostly because I just don’t REALIZE it’s coming.

Thanksgiving felt particularly non-Thanksgiving-ey this year… at first. I woke up that morning, walked out of my compound and everyone was going about their business like it was just another day, because here in Ethiopia, it WAS just another day. It wasn’t until we arrived at our Thanksgiving hosts’ house and saw the tables were festively set, a fire was crackling in the fireplace and smelled the roasting turkey that it finally hit. Feeling that sense of community and family that American holidays give me is something I haven’t ever been able to find here.

Over the past few weeks, every once in a while if I was walking to work at just right the time, there was a hint of autumn, of crispness in the air, that reminded me of home. Even the tiniest reminder of home is welcomed and cherished, especially when the days get so hot and the bulk of Ethiopians in my city are fasting (meaning eating a vegan diet) through Genna on January 7. I miss seasons, especially autumn, but I know as soon as we head out, I’ll miss Ethiopia too.

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