Autumn is my favorite season of the year. What isn’t there to love about Autumn? The tilting of the Earth on it’s axis is like a dance step. The light turns golden, and seems filled with bubbles, as though it has turned into champagne. A sparkling quality permeates everything.The shortening days are warm and the longer nights are cool. And sometimes the warm sunlit atmosphere is juxtaposed with a kiss of Winter’s impending entrance.
I love the colors of Autumn. Warm rich tones of flaming leaves, framed by the cool greens of grass still clinging on to Summer’s smile, and the light icy blue of the cooling sky. Eggplants, blackberries, and plums, rich dark purples, coupled with bright orange pumpkins and rosy red apples and mauve red raspberries, and the deep burgundy of a good red wine.
And that leads me to the flavors of Fall all of which I love and echo the warmth of this season: Cinnamon, nutmeg, alspice, clove, star anise, and ginger. I sit here sipping on a glass of amazing apple cider, with a hint of bite. Sweet potato chips with agave and dusted in cinnamon. Pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato soups, and the heavier meats: sausages, pork loins, beef. My all time favorite, roast beef sandwich with brie and a mayo, horseradish, mustard sauce and a bowl of chipotle sweet potato soup with a slice of pumpkin cheesecake for dessert or a pumpkin creme brulee. And that leads me to one of the best things about the food at this time of year…PUMPKIN FLAVORED EVERYTHING!!! No seriously, if it’s edible, make it pumpkin somehow. I am waiting for a pumpkin flavored apple, as apples are my favorite fruit. Before the age of refrigeration and easy importation of foods, they were an Autumn only item. And, yes caramels, and caramel covered apples. And lets not forget the wine, this is the time of year for deep, rich, red wines, with notes of leather, smoked woods, raspberries and blackberries. Pour it in a pot with a bag of mulling spices and sweeten it with honey, agave nectar, and stevia, place in a mug and let the steam rise up to tickle your nose on a chilly evening.
With that image lets jump into the olfactory delights that abound this time of year. Besides the aforementioned spices, I love the smell of wet earth from Autumn rains. Wet leaves, dry leaves, the dry dusty smell of dying grasses. And my all time favorite, smoke from camp fires and chimneys as people fire up their fireplaces. And nothing beats the smell of that smoke in the air along with the scent of a leather jacket. And one of my favorite perfumes by a homemade perfume oil company, Possets, is “Autumn”.
Of course I love a good leather jacket and a pair of lovely leather boots which are perfect for this time of year. Light sweaters, leggings, the layered look. Velvets, soft wools, and heavier cottons offset by silk scarves. And of course, my grandpa’s old Fedora gets to make an appearance. Hmmm I think I sense another blog post idea for another time.
So lets end this tour of the senses with the I haven’t talked about, sound. What does Autumn sound like to me? It’s the popping crackle of a fire in the fireplace, outdoors or in. The soft whoosh of Autumn breezes followed by that utter stillness the air takes on this time of year. That “thinning of the veil between the worlds”, we neo-pagans call it. And the air does feel thinner, sounds carry longer distances and have the quality of a slight echo. I love the cawing of the crows as they call to each other, and the keening of the red tail hawks brushing that ice blue sky with feathered caresses. I love the sound of the scabbbling and scuffing of taloned feet from the birds at the bird feeder. And the sound of the seeds as they fall in to the grass punctuated by angry chirps as they fight over the food, despite there being plenty for everyone. I love that soft hissing sound dry leaves make as they fall onto the grass and the crunch they make when I step on them. And of course, one of my favorite composers, Antonio Vivaldi, the “Red Priest” wrote one of my all time favorite suites of music, “The Four Seasons”. And of course Autumn is my favorite of the four.
Autumn renews my joie de vivre, I feel excited, again, like a child. I’m energetic and thrilled to be alive. Autumn renews my soul, I get to start again. And I often wonder, if that’s why the ancient Europeans made October the start of the new year. Did Autumn make them feel the same way?
So any other fans of this season out there? What do you all love about Autumn? You know mine, feel free to share yours!
And I leave you with a quote from another writer who loved Autumn, Albert Camus, who said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”