When I think of Fall, I think of one brief moment in time. I’m in the house where I grew up, sitting at the kitchen table next to the sliding door that leads to the deck, wearing the dungarees, hoodless sweatshirt and purple Keds that prove I’m a child of the 90s.

The glass is cool with the crisp breeze and sunshine pours into the room, illuminating the little dust particles that dance around the air. My dad is in the backyard on the tractor, my mom is at the counter making turkey sandwiches on Wonder Bread for lunch, and jack-o-lanterns sit just outside, ready for Halloween.

This scene encapsulates the entire season for me. It’s pure and content,  viewed through the prism of childhood sights and sounds and senses, and full of promise for the carefree things that must have happened later that afternoon. Did we jump in leaves? Push each other on the metal swing set? Ride bikes and play basketball? Or perhaps drink some hot chocolate and watch a movie, cozied up?

New England Fall is setting in, defined as those days after Labor Day when the sun sets a little earlier, the oaks and maples turn a little grander, and it becomes bearable to pull out a fleece and maybe even a light scarf to walk around the neighborhood.

I know that on those cool, bright afternoons, when the faint scent of chimney smoke is in the air and the orange leaves are dropping from the trees, I’ll think back to that simple minute in the kitchen. Like I do every year. Nostalgic, and a bit bitter that I can’t reclaim it. But hopeful that there will be hours and days and years just like it, still to come.