Crystal waters breathe icy smoke towards a blue morning sky.
The sun kisses a colorful October quilt.
Just what is it I love so much about the Fall? “What’s not to love”? is my only response. Autumn has always been my favorite season. If it could be October all year long with a week “off” for Christmas I would be so happy. I can breathe again, once a good frost hits. The air is pure, fresh and sparkling- not steely grey and soupy.
There are crystal shards of frost on the grass that glint like diamonds in the morning sunshine; and squeak under your boot-heels before they melt away. The dry, musty – but awesome – scent of the leaves on the ground and the rustling crackle as you shuffle through them on the sidewalks. The louder crunching if you indulge your inner child and jump into that leafpile That sour zing of that first bite of a Granny Smith or Cortland apple, fresh picked. The sweet and sassy taste of fresh pressed apple cider. The amazing blueness of the October New England sky – a color to be found nowhere else on earth at any time of the year. And the foliage…. Nature’s wrapping up in her patchwork quilt as she gets ready for the dark cold.
Autumn brings out a sense of nostalgia in me – of days gone past – of home, safety, comfort, and love. Take a stroll down golden, seldom traveled back-roads. To see what we can see, and spend some hard-won time together. I remember those who have passed on – friends, parents, grandparents, and hold dear my friends and family today.
To me, Autumn is about the senses. The sight of golds, reds, oranges, rusts, and browns – scattered across the hilltops like drops from Jack Frost’s paintbrush. The banners of golden late afternoon sunlight against the bruised purple after-storm sky, and how the sugar maples glow in that unearthly light. The sounds of the Canadian geese honking, coming in low and slow to land in the cornfield behind the house. The laughter and murmur of conversation in the kitchen – always the best place in the house to be! The texture of the nubby jackets, and softly prickly wool sweaters we dig out of the cedar chest to wear at the turning of the season.The pleasant burn of heat on my cold face when I walk in from outdoors. The glorious taste of the made-from-scratch hot apple pie topped with Granville cheddar cheese or better still, some vanilla bean ice cream. Apple spice melt-y wonderful creaminess! But mostly, autumn is about scents. To come home in the long twilight to a house full of the scent of a pork roast with applesauce, or chicken and dumplings, or a Yankee Pot Roast dinner. The great seasonal coffee flavors and how the cinnamon or pumpkin scent envelops me as I warm my fingers around the mug. The morning hot cocoa that “warms the cockles” of my heart, and my tummy. The smell of herbs and baking spices, and scented candle wax. Above all, the feeling of peace in the time of plenty.
Chilly outdoor bonfires. The flames dance, and the pine pitch creates sparks as the smoke rises. The smoky scent permeates my clothes and hair. Marshmallows are toasted, hot dogs roasted. Wine is imbibed. Conversation is lively. Friendly faces are illuminated and framed by the light. Its hypnotic…. Life is good!
original lyrics by Johnny Mercer, performed by Nat King Cole
The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your face, the summer kisses
the sun-burned hands I used to hold
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most my dearest dad
When autumn leaves start to fall
Joseph Albert Hoyt November 8, 1927 – June 7, 2007