It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I love most about Autumn.
It has it’s own particular smells and sounds that I look forward to each year – the acrid, but not unpleasant smell of decomposing vegetation and the crunch, crunch, crunch of leaves as I walk through the woods. And the colors!! Have I mentioned the colors?
In my opinion, the Fall palette is a true feast for the eyes – orange, yellow, red, russet, burgundy and brown. Brilliant and shocking…earthy and restful! But more than these, what I savor most is the gentler pace of life that embodies these months of September through early November.
After the sunshine and heat and the hectic pace of summer activities, Fall is a time for slowing down – a winding down of the activity clock – and a time to prepare the heart and home for the long, dark winter that follows closely on the heels of Autumn. There’s always a bit of panic inside of me, knowing that months of extreme cold and darkness are just around the corner. But before they arrive, God opens up His storehouses and gives us all an amazing gift – ABUNDANCE!
Everywhere I look, I see the generous hand of our Creator…
Bushes and brambles laden with ripe berries;
Fields of corn ready to be harvested;
Apples trees littering the ground with ripe fruit;
Deciduous leaves -yellow, orange and red – putting on a display of color that fills our senses with awe and wonder;
The recent harvest of brightly-hued squash and and pumpkins piled high at the local Farmer’s Market;
October sunsets – rivaling the turning leaves with their own ethereal display!
For four to six weeks each Fall, His flora is displayed in all of it’s glory and then like clockwork, a subtle change begins to happen. The temperatures begin to fall; the angle of the sun declines; the days grow shorter and all of Nature inhales one last, deep breath.
In a last flurry of activity, I cut down the frost-blackened flower stems in my perennial garden and cover them with protective layer of leaves.
I fill the bird feeders and watch as the residents from the northern boreal forests make their annual pilgrimage down South. I pull out my wool socks and sweaters and I make thick, hearty soups and bake chewy-crusted breads filled with grains and seeds.
When the leaves have all fallen and the grain harvest is in, I find myself trudging through the frosty fields of corn stubble – my Springer spaniel leaping and racing before me in search of pheasants; a small 20-gauge shotgun resting in the crook of my arm.
When the gales of November start blowing (and they really do!) I curl up on my couch and I read book after book, sipping on hot, spiced tea to counter the chill that threatens to creep into my house and aging bones! And before I know it, the past summer and all of it’s activity becomes just a fading memory.
The weeks pass, the white flakes begin to fall in earnest and all of Nature exhales one last time. It’s time for the yearly rest that God has ordained, so the earth lays down it’s thick blanket of downy snow, then gently slips into the long and silent, white sleep of winter.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”.