Around me the lush beauty of autumn flourishes. The evening drive home from work finds the sun beginning to set behind me, and the tips of the trees ahead catch the rays. As the days pass, leaves shed their summer green to reveal shyly, first, a pale yellow, then boldly, deeper reds, and shades of brown that add the richness of age as they curl into themselves, finishing their summer jobs of home to wildlife, shade and nourishment.
Often, deer graze an early evening meal at roadside. Further along, families of wild turkeys strut, safe from the hunting season within the confines of Buckhorn Island State Park. Large nests, home to birds and squirrels begin to show themselves through thinning forests, previously hidden by the lush density of summer.
At home, the crockpot simmers a roast I put in before work. Opening the door, the aroma welcomes…come in, relax…we have all evening. October, November and beyond is the time for comfort food. Casseroles, baking bread, and slow roasted meals fill the menu. All day weekend preparations of Coq au Vin or a batch of homemade bagels fill the house with a good feeling. They feed the body, heart and soul with slow, lazy purpose.
Unpacked from the attic are coveted and favorite pieces of the wardrobe. Turtlenecks (promised to co-workers to not make an appearance until after October 1st), sweaters, sweatshirts, flannel nightgowns and fluffy bathrobes fill dressers and closets. Hand sewn quilts, flannel sheets and the “warm like butter” throw from the Pottery Barn aren’t long to follow for beds, couches and over the back of chairs.
|My men, hard at work!|
When daylight savings time hits and the day loses the sun by 5 pm, it’s open season on coming home from work and immediately changing into pajamas for the evening. After all, it’s dark early – a time to celebrate the long evening ahead, curled up with your favorite book … or lover. Weekends offer crisp and shortened days, a heightened sense of urgency to get the work and play done in daylight hours. Leaves are raked, wood is split and stacked, hikes provide an opportunity to revel in the beauty of the season and an annual trip to the cider mill and pumpkin vendor send us home with brown bags full of goodies.
At home, the fireplace beckons. Crinkled paper, a layer of kindling, graduated wood pieces, small to large (cut on a crisp day earlier in the season and stacked, a thing of beauty in itself,) wait for the strike of a match. The paper catches, spreads the flame that works its way to a full burn. The flames dance, flickers that reach the corners of the room. It’s an old house – the chimney rises through the center of the upstairs and gives off heat enough to make the two rooms there quite comfortable on the chilliest of days. On a weekend, when the fire has been going since noon, it warrants opening the upstairs windows just a crack, a cool whisper seeps in to offset the blazing heat inside.
This is my autumn. This is my joy.
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly
about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
- George Eliot
- George Eliot