Back in June, I wrote a love note to my favorite season, summer. In it, I promised to create an homage to autumn, a season which is ever so slightly edged out by summer on my favorites list. I’ll admit I’ve been hesitant to sing autumn’s praises. Why? Because summer is way too short where I live. I really need true summer weather to begin about a month earlier than it does and I need it last a bit longer before autumn’s crisp air steals it away.
But for the first time since the Autumnal Equinox, I have begun to accept that there was a seasonal change. (Yeah, I know – it’s not like I could actually stop it from happening.) Autumn won me over how she always does, in her sneaky, subtle ways with her bright blue skies, sunshine that creates long shadows across lawns strewn with crunchy leaves, a breeze faintly scented with wood smoke and tinged with a tiny amount of the rain-is-a-comin’ humidity, and, of course, the brilliant shades of crimson and gold beginning to peek through the green leaves on the trees.
So, even though I was reluctant to do so, I said good-bye to summer.
Hello, autumn. Here is your love note.
The slant and quality of light in autumn is different than in summer, creating lengthening shadows and a deepening of the colors of the leaves. More than once in the past week I’ve been blown away by the beauty that is autumn.
Brilliant colors on the trees. This one’s so obvious I almost didn’t include it, but I didn’t want autumn to feel slighted. Besides, can we ever say enough about the spectacular shades of red, orange, and gold?
Crunch of leaves under foot. Again with the leaves? Yes, because it’s such a hallmark of autumn. Yes, because our visual senses are glamoured by the colors. And yes, because I go out of my way to crunch them under my feet when I’m out for a walk.
Wood smoke curling out of chimneys into the crisp night air. I love the smells emanating from a wood burning fireplace. The scent wafts through the air starting in late September and it makes me want to roast some veggies, bake some goodies, and curl up under a blanket with a good book.
Bringing out the autumn wardrobe. As sad as I am to put away the summer dresses and shorts, I do get a little spring in my step when it’s time to pull on my favorite, cozy sweaters, boots, and scarves.
Apples, apples, apples. Cider, pie, crisp, crumble. With a side of vanilla ice cream, please. Mix in some cinnamon and cloves and I’m swooning.
Going to the pumpkin patch and picking a spooktacular pumpkin to carve. I like to head out to the farm and pick my own humble pumpkin right off the prickly vine. Sure, I could find the same specimen at the grocery store just down the street, but then I wouldn’t get to take a hay ride, get lost in the massive corn maze, or look for the Great Pumpkin.
Halloween. Once a year it becomes socially appropriate to leave the house in a disguise. In case it wasn’t obvious, I love dressing up and becoming someone (or something) else for a night. Stephen King’s Carrie, a ghostly 1940’s Hollywood starlet, Daphne from the Scooby Doo gang, Cher, a flapper, and Marge Simpson are just a few of the recent disguises I’ve donned on this most awesome of holidays. Also, with a bit of luck and some ingenuity, I hope to build the first ever Tunnel of Terror leading up to my front door. Oh, how I love to scare the neighborhood kids.
Thanksgiving. This is truly my favorite holiday for many of the same reasons most everyone else likes it. Food, family, friends. All gathered together, pausing to reflect on what we’re all most thankful and grateful for in our lives. Some may scoff at the vegetarian’s take on the traditional American Thanksgiving menu, but each year I see it as a worthy challenge and have created some great feasts without one animal having died for it. And for that, I am thankful.
And now it’s your turn, fine readers. What do you like most about autumn? What are your favorite autumn memories? Do you have any traditions you like to do when the weather turns cooler? The tea is hot and the pillows are perfectly fluffed. Sit and share. I’d love to hear from you.