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Autumn is a State of Mind
Autumn is a state of mind, yes indeed. Fall equals energy, new ideas, putting ideas into action and the feeling of endless concrete possibilities. Summer also has endless possibilities, but they seem ephemeral, as if they could be carried away with the sea breeze. Fall is also a subtle slowing down or mellowing period for nature. So why is it that when things are winding down our surrounding world seems brighter? People actually seem smarter and livelier of step. Did you ever notice fall is the time when the roses really seem to come into their own? The colors are saturated beyond what they were in summer. They are deeper and richer. Maybe it's the light. There is a subtle difference from an autumn light compared to a summer light.
For all you gardeners out there this is your garden's time to exhibit it's brilliance. Many plants are producing extraordinary seed heads. Alliums come to mind with their star-like skeletons along with sedums and their weighty and lush flower heads. Some ornamental grasses are just hitting their peak right now with russets, tans, burgundys, greens and golds. Pink Muhly grass comes to mind with delicate coppery pink plumes dancing with the fall breezes. My garden glows in the fall because it no longer is scorched by the remorseless summer sun. Fall is when the garden, thoughts, and actions are clarified.
How About Food?
I confess, I am a major foodie. I think food is what I like best about fall. Baked acorn squash with pumpkin seeds is heavenly. You might call this peasant food. French bread, sourdough, pumpernickel or any other kind of homemade bread with a bowl of soup is perfect. Spicy chili with a side of cornbread is also one of my favorites. Sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, dark rich coffees, beef stew, chicken pot pie, spinach souffle with plenty of white pepper, carrot soup with cinnamin and ginger. These are all wonderful dishes that heat up your body and soul.
For those of us who are fortunate to have enough food to eat, please remember the less fortunate and give to your local food drives and give often. Let's make the fall season and all it has to offer something for everyone to enjoy.
Walking in the Woods
A walk in the cool autumn woods is a tonic for your mind. I never tire of it or the unexpected treasures it brings. The outstanding colors are reason enough to get out of your car and take a hike. Like I said earlier, the light of the sky is different in the fall, it intensifies the colors and transforms them into jewel tones. Beautiful shimmering leaves play games with this light as it bounces around the branches of the trees.
I am lucky to live in the northeast where we have many impressive trees: sugar maples, red maples, elders, dogwoods, japanese maples, tulip trees, hawthhorns, redbuds, birches, beeches, sycamores and many many more. So feast your eyes and clear your mind. Autumn has just blown in.
There is nothing better than curling up with a good book. Fall is a wonderful time to do this. I go through books like a hungry moth through a sweater. Usually I read right before I go to bed, somehow it always eases my mind. I can drift away to faraway lands and long ago places. I keep my bedroom window open until it gets really cold out, the cool breezes along with my current book I'm reading lull me right to sleep. Another reason to love fall.
Love it or loathe it football will always be part of the American landscape each fall. Hundreds of games are running from August to January. Choose your favorite: high school, college or pro games; fall is a time for football to shine. Sitting in late afternoon sun on a cool autumn day is a pleasure dome for our senses. The air is clean, clear and cool mixed with the rich smell of leaves that have dropped to the ground. Moistened by the rain, their smell is that much more distinct.
And, what would fall be without fashion? When I was a kid, I couldn't wait until the fall issues of Vogue and Seventeen came to the house. My grandmother loved Vogue and my sister had her own subscription to Seventeen. I highjacked both of these and feasted my eyes on all the wonderful coppery colors, textures and styles. I don't think it gets any better than fall fashion (maybe spring fashion). Who wouldn't fall in love with all of the rich fabrics, colors and styles? You can still wear dresses and not freeze and add a multitude of accessories, but not look overdressed.