Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Ode to Autumn

I love autumn in New England. I love the earthy smell in the air. I love the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. I love hearing the kids squeal as they get off the school bus. I love the crispness of the morning air. I love the glow of the afternoon sun. I even love the bittersweet feeling of packing up swimsuits, closing the pool, and tucking away shorts and sandals until next year.

I love that musty smell the first time the heat comes on in the morning. I love all the foods of autumn – the casseroles, the stews, the hearty meats and sauces. I love tucking my cold nose under the covers and letting my own breath warm it back up again. I love snuggling in blankets. I love wearing warm sweaters. I love drinking hot cocoa and tea and mulled cider at night and warming my hands on the mug. I love that first fire in the fireplace. I love the trace of frost on the windshield.

I love the potted mums that magically appear on doorsteps throughout the neighborhood. I love the fat pumpkins and the tall cornstalks and the witches and ghosts that herald the coming of Halloween. I love trading in my sandals for tall boots and my T-shirts for snuggly sweaters and my windbreaker for my wool coat. I love wrapping a scarf around my chin.

But most of all, I love the colors of autumn. I love the brightness of the leaves as green gives way to golden yellows, fiery oranges, and brilliant reds. I love watching gardens change from soft summer pastels into the rich, deep burgundies and purples and dark golds of autumn flowers. I love watching everyone’s wardrobe mellow from clear bright colors into more muted, deeper shades. I love the addition of bright yellow school buses into the visual cacophony that passes by my window.

I’m sure that in a few months I’ll be looking forward to the change from autumn into winter, with the first drifts of snow covering up the brown dead leaves, and the clean crisp smell of frost washing away the musty smell of stale autumn, and the brightness of a red cardinal standing out against the stark barrenness of the garden. But for now, I’m enjoying my beautiful autumn!

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