Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday's Reflection: An Ode to Fall

The other day my husband tempted me away from my desk with an invitation to take a drive. "Maybe we'll find pumpkins." He did not need to say one more thing. Besides, it was a gorgeous fall day, and I had already been at my desk for a chunk of the morning and after all, how many more days will we have to ride in his little car with the top down?

Off we went, and of course, we did find pumpkins. I asked the owner of the pumpkin patch and apple orchard if it is a good pumpkin year and he said quietly, "I am grateful for what we have." Ah, yes, to be grateful for what we have. 

I restrained myself, only adding to my pile of small orange and white ones for one of the apothecary jars in our sun room, but also selecting the palest of orange pumpkins for the front stoop. One more front step is now pumpkined --my apology to all word purists. 

             Summer's loss seems little, dear, 
             on days like these.
                                 Ernest Dowson

I love this season, and I know I am not alone in that. Sitting at my desk in the garret I see patches of red leaves, tempting the others to turn red and amazingly, when I glance up from my laptop again, it seems as if more have decided to join the red team. 
             Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to
             it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the
             earth seeking the successive autumns. 
                                  George Eliot

One year when we lived at Sweetwater Farm we grew pumpkins, and I filled our open front porch with them, inviting anyone to help themselves. Another year our son was marrying our dear Cricket, and we had the rehearsal dinner on a gorgeous fall evening at the farm. Vintage fall tablecloths and white pumpkins stenciled with hearts decorated the tables under the tent. Pumpkins were every where, for I had made many trips to my favorite pumpkin stand, filling the Jeep each trip. A bounty of friends and family joined us that evening to celebrate a new season of life. 

I remember the time a friend sent me a large box of bittersweet from the mountain behind her Pennsylvania home. I swagged the white picket fence from driveway to backdoor with an abundance of bittersweet. Our fall drives always included sweeping the landscape for signs of bittersweet, hoping we remembered the garden shears and if some were spotted, like the flash of a red tail hawk, that it could be reached without danger to life and limb. This year I am content to have a bunch hanging on the front of an old painted cupboard, loving the splash of orange against the faded aqua.

My decorating is more spare now, but there is still the urge to make sure the house knows the season has changed. On the entry table along with a bouquet of hydrangeas and pheasant feathers I have opened a vintage copy, given to me by a dear friend, of Thoreau's Autumn

          Some single trees, wholly bright 
          scarlet, seen against others of  
          their kind still freshly green, or
          against evergreens, are more 
          memorable than 
          whole groves will be by and by. How beautiful 
          when a whole tree is like one great scarlet fruit, 
          full of ripe juices, every leaf, from lowest limb to 
          topmost spire, all a-glow, especially if you look 
          toward the sun. What more remarkable object can 
          there be in the landscape? Visible for miles, too fair
          to be believed. If such a phenomenon occurred but 
          once, it would be handed down by tradition to posterity 
          and get into the mythology at last.
                                    Henry David Thoreau

Vintage candles--pumpkins and witches and black cats, oh my!, make me smile from their perch on the kitchen windowsill. In the evening battery-lit glass pumpkins keep us company as we close the door and pull the blinds till morning sun returns. A throw on the leather couch, a tumble of velvet pumpkins, a candle with the smell of cinnamon--all reminders for me to pay attention to the change that is happening outside and to be mindful of changes going on in my own spirit. A tucking in. A release from the fullness of summer. 

The temperature has been summer warm today, and I enjoyed having lunch and reading at the patio table. A squirrel chattering at me reminded me, however, that it only had so much time to gather and hide nuts for winter, and I was in its way. Yes, there is almost so much time, and I, too, need to be mindful of how I spend it. Right now being present to the changing of the seasons seems the very best way. 

An Invitation
How do you mark the changing of seasons? What are you mindful of as you move from summer to fall? I would love to know. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

All respectful and relevant comments are welcome. Potential spam and offensive comments will be deleted