What is it about fall that stirs our imagination? On Pinterest, the boards displaying the best of autumnal blessings are lighting up like candles. I have two myself, Falling for Fall and Harvest Time, and I may add more as the season progresses.
From what I see, four themes dominate the natural Pinterest boards: fall, All Hallows Eve, Christmas and spring. There must be a reason. The two holidays make sense. The word holiday is derived from “holy days,” and these holidays are the biggest in the American calendar, although not the biggest in the liturgical calendar. Easter is king there.
Feelings about spring and fall are more transient, but these seasons grab at our heart strings as well. I think it’s their transience that makes them so appealing Both appear on the scene in a kind of awakening. Like a toddler, spring begins its progression in a series of fits and starts, forward marches and fall-back positions. Warm weather and sunny skies mix in the central south with devastating late freezes. Throughout spring, we rejoice and collectively hold our breath until late April arrives, and then, suddenly it’s summer.
I don’t even want to talk about summer.
Fall is different. It is a slow and beautiful dying, like a gorgeous woman emitting her last sighs. Days grow progressively shorter, and although September and October are still warm, you begin to wake in darkness, and suddenly you know it is the slow descent into winter. If summer has been harsh, you swear you don’t mind . . . but in that small place in your heart, you feel a little twinge. If the summer has been a mild one, you regret winter’s arrival even more.
When I started this blog five years ago in early October, I wrote about summer’s last bouquet. That November I pondered fall’s color palette and rejoiced in its beauty. This autumn, as rain slowly falls outside my kitchen window, I remain grateful and full of wonder. It is a celebration of the end of things, along with a bit of melancholy at the start of others. We never know what kind of winter we will have, and I always wonder if spring will ever come again–even though I know it must.
Enjoy this fleeting season. Get outside, walk the parks, or garden in your own space. Visit a local nursery, and buy something that heralds the season like an aster, mum or pumpkins. Plant so that your garden will culminate in its most beautiful expression in autumn, and you’ll rejoice at summer’s end too.