“Aunt Kara! Wanna see what I did in pre-school?”
“Wow! Is that a tree with fall leaves?”
“Yes, we listened to music while we did it.” Then singing, “It’s autumn time, it’s autumn time, the leaves are falling down…”
“Are those all the fall colors?”
“I’ll show you. There’s orange and brown and red. I just did ALL of them!”
I love that fall means football. I love that fall means the World Series. I love that fall means fresh notebooks and newly sharpened pencils and trapper keepers. More cuddling on chilly nights. More reasons for hot chocolate and hot cereal.
I love the fall. I love pulling out sweaters and cozy sweatshirt again. I love the feeling of needing to wear one, the feeling of covering a chilly arm. The sensation of cool air that hits your face when you open a kitchen window in the morning. I think it is a scientific fact that warm oatmeal for breakfast tastes better after September 30th. I love the end of summer harvest of fresh squash, tomatoes, and apples. Then turning all those apples into desserts, drinks and Halloween games. Excitement from children about costumes and that one special day when candy is given in copious amounts. Freely filling anticipated sacks and little tummys. Flower beds still boast brilliant orange, yellow, and few bright pink blooms. Fallen leaves fall into these beds, a reminder to take in the color. That first spring sprig is on the other side of frozen ground and months of gray landscapes.
Summer was fun, we played with him for months. Staying out later on warm nights and throwing parties with charcoal, checkered table cloths and sweet corn. But now fall calls us inside and gently eases us into that white, frozen season. It knows what a great time we had. We can’t go directly into winter’s arms. It might harden us and make us curse the cold. It lessens the severity of a world turned frozen - sometimes over night. It gives us parting gifts of fresh squash, fallen apples, and holidays of gathering and thanks. Our fruits of summer’s labor have been gathered. Some canned and tucked high on a shelf. So during the frozen season when the wind is howling and icicles form, we are ready. Dear, gentle fall has shepherded us in.