Photo credit: my Ma at Lake Simcoe, Thanksgiving 1986

Australians often ask what I miss about Canada and usually I say, "just my family... If I never saw another Toronto winter again I wouldn't mind a bit." It's mostly the truth... the part about winter, I mean... even when I'm feeling nostalgic.

But there's something else. Before the first bitter frost comes a magnificent moment when the whole world is draped in burnished gold and crimson. It's a time when adults rake up sky high piles of fallen leaves so kids and dogs can hurl themselves over and in, as though each mound were a great rustling feather bed. Then there's the pumpkin pie, and bowls of soup, and the chilly fingers wrapped around mugs of hot apple cider... And I have to admit... I feel a pang of homesickness at the thought of all that.

So happy Autumn, northern hemisphere, and Happy Thanksgiving to my once home and always native land... If you do find yourself traipsing through neatly edged pile of leaves this weekend, give it a good belt for me!