It's autumn. Oh, that most glorious of seasons, with the hint of spice in the breeze, the promise of harvest, the tantalizing glimpses of chilly evenings snuggled under a blanket with a book and a cup of hot chocolate. I love the crispness in the air and how summer tries to keep its tentacles in us for just one.more.week, yet autumn will not allow it (thank goodness). The earth begins to settle, to realize that a good, long slumber awaits, that a time for nesting and cuddling and cozying lies ahead.
To celebrate the season, I put pumpkins on my front step tonight and put my autumn Snoopy flags up (yes, I have a Snoopy flag for every month!). I scattered acorns and leaves on living room surfaces, replaced old candles with new, and savored the cool breeze coming through the door as I worked.
Autumn is here.
This is when I, too, begin to get comfortable, to wrap the cocoon of introversion around me even tighter, and to savor my moments at home. I delve into my writing, connect with my words in a way that I just can't manage to do in the summer, and bask in how the season permeates everything around me. Yes, there is pumpkin-flavored everything, but there's also long, comfy sweaters, and worn jeans, and heavy socks and slippers.
Autumn is a season that embraces you. It tells you to slow down, to listen, to look, to savor, smell, and touch its every facet. Autumn encourages you to relax, to get comfortable, and enjoy all that life offers.
The depth of winter, those months after Christmas, turns us hard, makes us bitter in many ways, as we scoop snow or have our cheeks pelted with ice or wait for the car heater to just get warm already.
Spring encourages us to emerge and breathe, to open our arms and dance, to delight. To experience renewal.
Summer tells us to go faster, to do it all, cram in every last experience. Seize the moment. Summer is fleeting! Sail the boat, take the vacation, go camping, go swimming, have get-togethers, barbecue, again and again, and then once more because summer won't last forever! And it doesn't, and when it ends, we are exhausted.
And then comes autumn.
"Come," she says, her voice quiet and sure. "It is time for you to stop. To look. To really see."
You go to her, hesitant, unsure whether to leave the siren call of summer behind. But then, autumn smiles and throws a beautiful blend of all that encompasses her into the air where it shimmers and shines like fairy dust. It's a blend of apples and pumpkins and acorns, of scattering leaves and glowing candles, of brisk air and thick quilts, of love and softness and warmth and family.
Yes, you think. This is what you need, what you crave. You want to see.
And it is autumn that opens your eyes.