Monday, September 29, 2008


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.


Michele (Razzy) said...

I love Fall the most, especially in New England. I want to see some photos of Armenian autumn. :)

Equality-Minded Hoosier said...

John and I have thought of you often. This was a great posting to read.


Anonymous said...

Fall is just starting here... something that I haven't had for quite a while.

tdmiracle said...

It is a wonderful time of year isnt it

Ari said...

Fall is a good time abroad. I loved the Japanese fall, mostly because I got to get past the horrid summer.

Just be prepared for the winter, because them not-so-modern countries can be awfully cold!

BTW, I have a Game Boy SP I can lend you if you want it.

Susanne said...

You make me miss the changing of the seasons....It's actually something we have here in Hawaii, but it is so very subtle that it's incredibly easy to miss.

Oh, the crackle of dried leaves underfoot, and the brilliance of the reds and yellows still hanging on....

Lora Hu said...

Are you still there in Armenia? I'm an A-17, due to arrive 1st of June. Are you surviving the winter and all the other "stuff"?