When the summer days grow perceptibly shorter, when the air carries a bit of a chill and a tang in the breeze, when the trees along the highway first begin to blush in pastel shades of mustard and crimson….
The squirrels and bees have a frantic quality to their gathering; survival is foremost in their minds.
It’s inevitable, summer’s ending and autumn’s coming. We can try to stretch out summer as long as possible, until finally, it’s clear, there’s no going back. Once Indian Summer comes and goes, it’s undeniably a changing season.
When harvest is over and scarecrows hibernate, when farm stands close for the season and school begins again, it’s best to accept it and ease in autumn.
Once I accept that summer is over, it’s a lot easier to embrace autumn and experience the fullness of the season.
Autumn to me is sort of a transitional season, between summer and winter. It has many charms of it’s own. Autumn is truly a great example of enjoying the journey…
I look forward to fires outside, the sound of wood crackling and the scent of apple and pine smoke mingling. Walks in the woods with a bite under the wind, leaves swirling to earth around me, no annoying bugs to swish away, the crunch beneath my feet of leaves already dry.
The garden is put to bed and doesn’t need the constant attention of weeding and watering, the herbs are hung to dry or bottled up in vinegars, the flowers are tucked into potpourris, the veggies not already consumed, are stored in the freezer, the grapes made into jams and conserves to add a touch of summer to winter breakfast tables.
The evenings see the wood stove crackling merrily away, taking the nip out of the air; it’s just beginning the long task of keeping us warm in the soon-to-be chilly elements.
The bittersweet pleasures of putting away gauzy summer sundresses and pulling out woolen sweaters from cedar closets and corduroy pants from deep chests.
The incontestable beauty of the season abounds everywhere we look; golden whorls and sheaves of hay, trees and paths covered in glorious leaves, apples like jewels clustered in orchards.
There’s a push to put all in order before hibernation commences here in New England; gardens get tucked away, windows are secured, bare floors are covered, warm bedding is brought out, wood is stacked. The primal sense of hunkering down, of security in being ‘prepared’ to combat the elements, all this activity brings a deep, snug feeling inside.
A day spent apple picking in crisp air with rosy cheeks, is a day spent well. Hay rides through orchards ending in steaming aromatic mugs of hot cider and huge molasses cookies, what could be better than this?
After a season of foods that cook quickly, if at all, it’s so enjoyable to simmer something delectable on the wood stove, to brew a pot of fragrant tea and use the oven once again. The seasonal anticipation of the holidays coming and the preparations for family gatherings, all laced with a quiet excitement, bring a sense of peace.
This easing into autumn is truly a journey to savor… Let the ride commence!