only love is all maroon

Sunny, fall days in Nashville are the best. It’s still too warm for my liking, and so dry there’s a forest fire watch in effect, but the sky is the clearest blue imaginable and the sun is watery and warm. Mare’s tail clouds streak the sky, and even though it’s early afternoon, there’s already a feeling of dusk approaching in the way the light bends over the trees and scatters through the leaves.

It’s days like this that make Nashville start to feel like home for me. I drove up to Hillsboro Village to browse the shelves at Bookman Bookwoman, and driving down 21st Avenue South, I was struck by just how pretty Nashville is. The yellow leaves of the trees clash so vibrantly with the painted reds and blues of the brick storefronts, you’d think the trees were changing colors on purpose, just to enhance the kitschiness. The sun coming over the rooftops was reflected off BMW windshields and cyclists’ sunglasses. And the Sunday brunch crowd at Pancake Pantry wound all the way around the block to Wedgewood.

Days like this bring out the best of Nashville. The students taking a break from studying to enjoy what will most likely be the last sunny days of the year, before the winter rains start falling. The small crowd of Bengals fans sitting on the patio at Sam’s, yelling “Who Dey!” to each other and putting a tiny grin on my face, thinking about my mom tailgating at home. The hipsters and artists sitting on the corner, rolling cigarettes and selling paintings and screen prints. The families holding their kids’ hands as they cross the street, ignoring, like everyone else, the crosswalks and street signs. The tourists, poking their heads in shops and marvelling at the fact that no, Nashville isn’t just about country music. The cyclists and the runners and the dog-walkers. It seemed like everyone wanted to be out today.

It’s days like today that make me adore Nashville, make me want to adopt it as my permanent second home. The sun and the books spilling off the shelves at Bookman and the Egg McFido I had to wait twenty minutes in line for and the guy riding his bike up 21st Avenue holding, not the handlebars, but a tiny black puppy instead. This is what Sundays are made for. They’re for forgetting the nausea I feel when I think about going back to work on Monday; they’re about burying the sinking feeling I get when I think about where I want my life to go and what I want to do with myself; they’re for imagining life as it could be.

The amazing thing about days like today is that they give me the impression that things just might work out. When I walked into Bookman and found, almost right away, a beautiful hardcover edition of a book I’ve just promised a friend I’d read in exchange for his reading A Tale of Two Cities. Its binding is coming loose and it smells like an attic, but it was only $8.95 and it’s so old it doesn’t even have a copyright page. But it’s that kind of serendipity that makes me feel like I don’t have to know exactly what I’m doing right now. It makes me feel like I can just take the days as they come and work on getting where I want to be in the meantime.


5 Responses to “only love is all maroon”

  1. Now you are making ME miss Nashville. :(

  2. This post makes me miss that lovely Nashville light… given how much I love autumn even in this boring old part of the world, I imagine I’d adore it.

  3. 3 ABC

    I’ve seen fall here, but I sure would like to see it in Nashville.

  4. 4 Taryn

    Even though I just now got around to reading this…..thanks for thinking of me during the tailgating season. I literally get tears in my eyes when you even remotely think about me in these memorable ways. Love you.

  1. 1 if i fall in love with you, it always will be worth it « Feet on Polished Floor

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