Autumn, Fall My Way!

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Though I know autumn precedes winter, and winter is such a tough season to muddle through in the Midwest, still, I can’t help being excited at its near arrival, signs of which I am now seeing across the landscape. I know days like today are not yet here to stay–summer will still elbow back a few times, I’m sure–yet I love the promise such days hold. There are so many things I love about autumn:

  • chill mornings that mellow into sun-drenched afternoons, yet the sun, weakened like tea, can’t quite dispel the chill even then.
  • wind-swept flurries of colorful fragments–the torn edges of red maple, the smooth brown lobed oak leaves, the hand-sized yellow sycamore
  • wearing loose, bulky sweaters over lived-in jeans
  • huge clouds of grain and bean dust as combines gather in the crops
  • apple orchards opening, with jugs of apple cider in rows on their wooden shelves, circled by lazy bees
  • the shocking orange of pumpkins making their appearance at roadside stands
  • wearing my field jacket and Nike hikers in walks across bare fields
  • the spicy fragrance in the air of leaf mulch, over-ripe fruit, and bonfire smoke drifting from one neighbor to another
  • the delicious clatter of dried leaves underfoot, the crinkle and crash of them as I kick a pile up with my shoes
  • the rhythmic scrape of rake against withered ground, gathering leaves into piles
  • warm and friendly light of evening fires on the porch, while huddled in blankets or hunched in sweaters, only our faces warmed by the flames
  • coffee steam rising into cold morning air, warming numbed fingers that encircle the mug
  • grey skies that smell of snow, promise of snow, but don’t deliver, withholding that first thrill until November
  • making my first fire in my cabin’s stove with loads of fresh sticks collected in bags
  • deer foraging more hungrily for the scarcer foot, coming nearer our house
  • fall festivals with their smells of wood smoke, hot apple cider, pot pourri in huge crocks or tin buckets, caramel apples, People dressed in 1800’s fare, tromping through the misty, cold morning fog. Craft booths, corn brooms, buckeyes in bowls, necklaces strung with Indian corn, chunky glazed pottery, crocheted pot holders and church ladies selling their wares.
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