The mornings are getting colder, and the leaves in my backyard are starting to wither a bit. My plants are turning back toward the soil and I can see the change in the angle of the sun as it hits my house. The air gets crisp and everything magically begins to smell of pumpkin and cinnamon. Colors swirl around us and become messy piles of leaves to jump in. This is what I love about fall. As the view outside my window changes, so do I.
I see the beauty in the death and decay of the leaves and gardens. The earth is preparing to hunker down. She is mindful of the rest she needs and gives little regard to the humans who shout for more sunny days and warm weather. She is getting sleepy, and her inhabitants get ready for hibernation as well. Just like the chipmunks in my yard and the bears in my woods, humans harvest and prepare for the winter months ahead. We chop and stack wood to keep us warm. We pull up our gardens, taking care to not waste anything the earth has provided. Kitchens are filled with canning jars and freezer bags. Some hunt to stock the freezer with meat. Extra blankets are shaken out of storage and we give the yard a once over before finally being able to put the mower away. We pull on our sweaters and boots and keep our hats and scarfs on standby. If Spring is a time of new birth and sowing, Autumn is the time of reaping and preparation.
Even without children in my house I look forward to pumpkin picking, searching out the perfect gourds for decorating, carving and baking. I mull cider and red wine and bake pies and breads. I love filling my home the scent of cranberries and spice. Flannel sheets and cedar smelling quilts are hauled out for the bedrooms. The blustery winds, the enchanting colors and earthy smell of the leaves on my lawn excite me. Everything is winding down from the heat of summer and I feel renewed. I look forward to warm drinks on chilly nights and huddling around my firepit with friends. I acknowledge that for new life to come, other life must wither. But what a beautiful way to make an exit!