Prairie Points

Friday, October 19, 2012

The autumn of my life.

Fall arrived nearly a month ago. It's been a gloriously beautiful season this year. Last year, not so much. The trees have been so vibrant and colorful that it's been nearly breathtaking at times.  I love it. It's my favorite time of year, but it's too fleeting.  It isn't fair that the sucking heat and humidity of summer can go on and on and on for what seems like forever, and the beauty of autumn is here and gone in an instant. When I was young, I loved the beginning of the school year, because I knew it meant fall was imminent.  I loved the transition from late summer to the crisp, cool days of fall. I loved taking walks in the woods and doing leaf identification and watching squirrels scamper with cheeks puffed full of acorns and seeds.  I am an autumn. Those are my colors. I look best in those colors, I feel best surrounded by those colors (except for orange, and WHY did I make a turquoise quilt??), and there is just no denying I love it beyond measure:
I love the first cup of honey-sweetened hot tea in the morning. I love heating up the oven by baking bread and muffins and stews and roasted root vegetables.  I don't even mind the first couple of days of leaf raking.  I love pulling on the sweatshirts and long jeans, and if necessary the corduroy or red flannel shirt for the extra warmth. I love having to wear socks with my shoes to keep my toes warm.

I love driving around and seeing how others have decorated their yards for the season and the excitement leading up to Halloween. Halloween. That special day for some, but soooo special for us. That is the day, 23 years ago this year, that we dodged goblins on the way to the hospital for the birth of our wonderful son. He was supposed to be a turkey, but decided to be a pumpkin instead. We call him Boo sometimes. 

I have always loved sassafras.  The way it smells, looks and it's many uses amuse me.  Sassafras tea is delicious. The tree has three different shaped leaves and in the fall, it's just gorgeous:
Fall is when the geese fly south. It's when the summer sounds recede and the sounds of the metal beasts can be heard as they devour the crops in the fields. It's a ritual that's comforting in it's predicability.

Fall is when the promise of the new life that arrives in spring has either congratulated itself on a job well done, or has been scolded for being a slacker.  Most years, awards are given.  Fall is fleeting. Soon, those vivid colors will be in piles on the ground, fading from glorious oranges, yellows and reds to drab browns and even black. It's the circle of life here in the midwest, and I love it.  I don't even mind when this is the result:

But, I'm not ready. I need another week or three before I am ready to turn around in a circle three times and lie down for the winter.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays will be here soon, the pumpkins will be in flat, mushy piles tossed in fields or backyards, and the pages of the calendar will again flip to the next months. Soon, the calendar itself will be replaced.  That's just how it is. That's how it works. Stick a fork in it, the year is done. We'll be dealing with this too soon:
Not Yet.

I want more autumn. I waited all winter, spring and summer for it. I will embrace each day, pulling on the Cuddleduds if need be, in order to enjoy it.  Even with the necessary chores that have to be taken care of, it's a joy to work ouside when it's beautiful.  Well, enough of this. You get the picture. Don't look for an I-love-winter post in February. It won't be there, because I'll be true to my autumn. I'll endure winter, skip through the tulips come spring, and wipe the sweat off my forehead while gardening next summer, but all the while, I'll be keeping memories of this in my heart:

Red, Orange and Yellow Autumn Blessings,


  1. One of your best written blogs, Brenda. I'm an autumn, too, but I don't dread winter so much now that I don't have to go out in it unless I want to. I hate to wish for deep snow, because of people who do have to get someplace, but strictly from an aesthetic point of view I do see beauty in that, too. Just dreary skies and leafless trees are depressing.

  2. I retreat in the winter. Physically, mentally and probably spiritually. I'm just not "there" like I am in the fall. I like "moderate" winter much better than summer, but extreme winters like we've had before just take too much energy. Wake me up when it's over.