Every year, when the air starts to get chilly, I flash back to this sense memory:

I am four years old, sitting atop a hay bale in front of a farm stand with my kindergarten class, drinking apple cider and eating a white powdered donut.

I can still taste the apple cider—sharp, sweet, with a distinctive bite because, as I would later figure out, it was turning hard. I can still see the bright white of the sugar on the donut and smell the hay that scratched my skin when I kicked my legs over the side of the bale. These foods, and the whole experience, were new to me. Every bit of it was surprising and delightful.

To this day, the taste of that cider is especially vivid in my mind. Nothing I have tasted since has ever matched that first sip of cider.