The Parthenon

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LET ME BE FRANK: ON PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES

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Pumpkin spice and possibility—the anthem of Fall. It was three years ago when I ordered my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. When the barista called out my name, “pumpkin spice latte for Franklin,” I crept up to the counter, feeling guilty. People make fun of these things on the internet. Somehow in the delusion of my mind, everyone in the Starbucks stared at me in disbelief, questioning my taste, questioning my manhood. But it was good. So good. It tasted like Fall, like a warm blanket on a crisp day spent apple picking and a jumping in the leaves.

People love Fall—they love football games and crewnecks, red leaves and hot chocolate. But I think our society’s love and longing for the Fall months is about more than pumpkin spice. There’s this nostalgic, warm feeling that comes as the months get colder. As the leaves begin to fall off the trees, after a flash of bright colors—their own grand finale—I think we are reminded of how precious time is.

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed,” writes Stephen King. “It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”

There is this feeling in our souls, this feeling that that tells us life moves on. We reflect and consider our lives in a different context. Suddenly, it’s the simple things in life that seem the most important: quality time with loved ones, romance, baking pies and visiting pumpkin patches. It is this season reminds us, in the words of Robert Frost, that nothing gold can stay.

So enjoy those pumpkin spice lattes and hay rides and scary movie marathons. This is a season of settling in, prioritizing, and possibility.

Franklin Norton can be contacted at [email protected]

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