I can't help but be reminded today of better days past. Not because I'm unhappy--in fact, quite the opposite. As I walked outside today I was reminded of just how good Fall days are in almost any climate that actually has a Fall: the cool crispness of the air tempered by the warmth of the sun; the light cool breeze slowly blowing the leaves from the trees; the clarity of the atmosphere that allows you to see farther than on a normal day; even the sounds of children playing in the schoolyard actually somehow sound more pleasant--and that coming from a guy who doesn't even like the little buggers.
But it's that very euphoria of a fall day that brings memories flooding back of a time when, I think, I could say I was truly happy. You see, two years ago this fall I was working with the Human Rights Campaign and Indiana Equality in Indianapolis, and Indiana at large. I was in the thick of the campaign season, organizing volunteers for weekend canvassing trips, organizing phone banks during the week, and constantly either on the phone with a union or campaign manager or else sending off emails to folks, or making sure that all the logistics for the weekend were ready.
And I was loving every minute of it.
I had really discovered my element, something that I was incredibly happy doing, both because of the work and, more importantly, because of all the people that I was working with. I don't presume to claim that I was the absolute best at doing it, or that there was nothing more that I could have done--there's certainly more that I could have done and could have done a better job at. But then, it was my first time as an organizer, and I got valuable experience from it--more importantly, I was passionate about it. Had I not, at the time, been so intent on going back to Idaho to finish up my Political Economy degree--I already had a Bachelors Degree, so one more was just icing on the cake--I surely would have stayed in Indiana.
When Fall comes, those memories are the ones that have been imprinted in my mind, and they're what I associate the season with: walking through Ft. Wayne with my walk list and candidate materials in hand; grabbing a $5 lunch from the Cajun place; driving around Indiana with a van full of volunteers; the day spent with my friend and boss Mark in Nashville and Bloomington--and my befuddlement until I realized we were going to Nashville, Indiana, not Tennessee. The memories come unbidden, but they're never unwelcome.
It may be that I will form memories of Fall that I will associate with this place. Probably not this year, but perhaps next year. But I don't think they'll ever be as strong as the ones I have of Indiana. After all, I also have wonderful and intense memories of my Fall trips to Stanley, Idaho and into the Sawtooths that I made last year, but they're never the first on my mind when the season comes. Indiana was good to me, and so on this Fall day I remember it well, and treasure the season that's upon me.