I was listening to "Casimir Pulaski Day" as I was driving home. I hadn't listened to much Sufjan Stevens lately. I was wearing my sunglasses even though the sun was falling and everything I saw seemed to be covered in a sheer kind of darkness. To me, this song is autumn. When I hear this song, I think of wearing long-sleeved flannel and waking up in the dark and the smell of pumpkin and cold leaves. I think of cheeks made pink with the start of frost. I think of slightly chapped lips and hall lights.
If last Christmastime had a soundtrack, it would be Sufjan Stevens' Christmas collection, "Songs for Christmas." I listened to those CDs over and over: in the car, at home, playing in my mind while sitting on a metal bench, waiting for the bus in the ice and night. When Christmas had passed, I stopped listening, and I missed it. To me, Christmas is now wrapped and seamed together with those songs. I have a hard time separating the holiday season from that music. And whenever I think of the past December, Sufjan is there, playing quietly, peaceably, on repeat.
Dear Sufjan, what do you say to an autumn wedding? I'll wear a cream-colored dress and we can serve everybody hot cider and apple donuts.