As I write this, I am gazing out my back door. The sky is an absolutely clear, beautiful blue. The maple tree in my back yard is still fully crowned in green. It is currently 69 degrees. Other than the cooler temperature, it might almost appear a perfect Summer day. But the signs are there. The signs that we are heading into Autumn.
I love the change of seasons. I can’t really answer why, nor is the reason
important. I simply do. It is just something I feel. Each new season brings its joys and wonders. Each new season brings its headaches and annoyances. The combination of all these keep each day, week, month, and year fresh.
Autumn is by far my favorite season, though.
It starts with the light. There is just something different about the light in the fall. I’m not talking the scientific aspects of light relative the positioning of the earth to sun. This light defies science. It defies explanation. It is completely sensory. The light shines, shimmers, and glistens; and I’m not talking reflections, but the light itself, suspended before my eyes.
Then there is the air. Winter air can be cold and harsh. Spring air can be overly flowery and sometimes musty. Summer air can be humid, heavy, thick. Autumn air is as different as Autumn light. It’s thin, fluid, crisp, and clean. It is so refreshing that you want to take the deepest breaths you can. It is like breathing fresh, spring water but never feeling suffocated or drowned.
What of Autumn colors? They, too, are splendidly different than any other
season. The deep ruby reds of the changing maple leaf are not the same as the red of a rose. The vivid golds are not the same tarnished tones of the wheat and hay in the fields. The luminescent oranges make the most vivid sunset seem dull. Somehow all the colors of Autumn evoke the sense of earth for me. I never feel as one with our planet as I do in Autumn. How can they be so different? They are just colors after all. But different they are.
Even the word Autumn is special. I will be the first to tell you that more often than not, I use the word Fall at this time of year. Most I know do. The word Autumn has a very special place in language for me though. For some unknown reason, Autumn looks better to me in print. It has a fine shape and tenor to it. It is the best word to evoke all I feel that I can not otherwise adequately explain.
Then there are all the human aspects of Autumn that I find so agreeable. Cider mills with their smells of pressed apples and fresh hot fried donuts
coated in cinnamon and sugar. Caramel Apples. High school and college football. The start of a new hockey season. Halloween, pumpkin carving, children trick-or-treating, and the prelude to the holidays.
For me, Autumn is also about peace. I find that I like long hikes in the woods in Autumn much more than any other time of year. The animals are on the move and to see the deer moving, the squirrels gathering, and the geese flying is a special treat. For all the sounds of nature, Autumn is strangely quiet. Leaves rustle and creeks trickle. Footsteps crackle on dry leaves. Combined, however, it all seems to create a great, white noise that envelopes me, lulls me, and brings me a solitude I need after the busy, active days of Summer.
In short, I find Autumn amazing, and beyond this poor attempt to place into writing why, it defies my ability to explain. Is there a need to explain however?
I don’t think so. It is for me what it is for me. It is for you what it is for you. The beauty of Autumn, of all the seasons in fact, is that we get to witness a change in the world around us. We do not live in a world where we enjoy the same day 365 day a year. In fact, I know that I wouldn’t enjoy that.
Here’s to Autumn.