Autumn seems like the most precious season to me. Technically, it’s 3 months long like all the others but summer usually shaves several weeks off the beginning of fall, not that anyone minds… Even when it doesn’t we spend the first month or so of autumn, grieving for summer anyway. Then winter usually steals away the last month of autumn, treating us to some samples of arctic gales and flurries. That pretty much just leaves the month of October to enjoy as a true autumn season should be enjoyed. Even this is precarious because autumn holds an outside performance and if October turns rainy and windy, we could miss the entire show. So, enjoy fall while you can, it is truly a precious commodity.
The days really feel shorter now. The sun’s rays don’t penetrate like they did just a few short weeks ago. There’s nearly always a bit of a breeze, if not a gusty wind blowing. Every movement of the air rustles the leaves on the trees, which are just enough dryer that you can hear them shimmer. And some are beginning to blush and glisten, with captured summer sunlight.
Children return to school. The geese wing their ways southward, singing their melancholy songs as they travel. Hoses are put away, another garden’s gone by, herbs hang from rafters to dry. The bees are frantic in their last minute preparations. Squirrels become even bolder!
Out come the sweaters and scarves. Away go the sandals and short sleeves. A sense of something pending is clearly palpable. The ground has lost some of its spring and the grass has stopped growing. The perennials begin to fade, except for some brave souls that have waited all summer in the shadows to blaze and glow now, when the rest of the blooms are retreating.
With frosty breath, we gather apples from the orchards, trees there hang heavy with their sweet burden. Deer show themselves cautiously at the edge of the meadow, ears twisting to hear every sound, noses twitching to separate the multiple scents that assail them. Cornstalks and pumpkins are amassed and scarecrows seem to materialize from the earth like specters. The last of summer’s corn is sold and huge squashes abound. Country Fairs wrap up the season and everyone goes home once again.
The trees change daily, at first, a subtle touch of color, then; deeper reds, more luminous golds, fierier oranges. They blaze and glow like flames in a forest fire. The blue in the sky seems more intense and the clouds appear fuller. The days continue to shorten.
Mornings are darker and the lakes and rivers are steamy. The ground is crisp with frosty grass. Soon, leaves do a dance as they swirl and whorl from the trees above, curled into themselves as they settle like feathers to the ground. Before long, those crisp leaves accumulate about our feet and crunch when we walk, emitting spicy fragrances. The foliage along the roadside in New England has turned brown or disappeared entirely. Naked branches seem to shiver and writhe perceptibly in the wind.
All Hallow’s Eve roars in and chills and haunts and rushes out again. Now we ponder the woodpile, will it be sufficient to see us through the winter? Have we covered the garden with enough compost? Should we stock up on more candles? Have we done due diligence by the weather? Regrettably, we locate the snow shovel and place it closer to the door.
Soon, we start the stove in the evenings, drawing close and begin to plan Thanksgiving. We count our many blessings and prepare to gather and share seasonal survival tales. Cooking long slow meals inside becomes important once again. Our thoughts turn inward as we prepare to hibernate.
It’s another precious Autumn in New England!
Glad you could be here.