The Moods and Music of Autumn -- from Melancholy to Celebration
Autumn Brings Pumpkins and Squash
In Autumn We Both Celebrate Abundance and Mourn the Loss of Summer
Many children are reluctant to see autumn come, since it means summer freedom is over and they must go back to their studies. Many of those same children welcome Halloween, though, and harvest festivals.
Toward the end of autumn gratitude prevails and we celebrate our blessings, including the harvest, on Thanksgiving Day.We are cheered to see the bright colors of the changing leaves, even as we recognize with a tinge of sadness that those bright colors are a sign of their approaching death.
As the leaves fall, and the trees become bare, it often brings back memories of happier times and people we miss. It can also remind seniors that they are in the autumn of their lives, making them feel more vulnerable to the ravages of time. Whatever autumn mood you may be in, there's music to help you express it.Unless otherwise noted, I have taken the photographs used on this page.
Autumn in the Vineyards - It's Harvest Time!
North American grapes are normally harvested in September and October. I look forward each year to seeing them change color. I have written elsewhere about the actual harvest of wine grapes, along with videos I took of the harvest as it happened in this article: What's It's Like to Live in Wine Country The leaves often change color after the grapes are harvested. This picture shows the vines that were harvested in the videos you saw if you followed the link. The harvest took place in mid-October, and this picture was taken in mid-November. Since I do live in the midst of wine country, autumn is full of the sights, sounds, and even smells of the grape harvests, since the wineries don't all harvest at the same time. As I drive home on autumn evenings, the smell of the crushed grapes and their by-products are in the air, as a lot of the crushes are also going on. It is a special smell I associate with autumn.
Autumn Leaves and More Love Songs
If you like the video below, you might consider getting Nat King Cole's album full of love songs. You can preview them when you click through.
As the leaves fall, it often makes people think longingly of the past, especially of past relationships that are no more. Those falling leaves can affect many of our senses. We see the changing colors of the leaves, hear the dead leaves crunch under our feet as we walk, and maybe even smell burning leaves, though today it's more likely people will compost them than burn them.When any of the sights, smells, or sounds are associated with special people, we may feel melancholy if the relationship is no longer there or the loved one has died. These old feelings of grief or loneliness are easily activated by these associations our subconscious makes with the current input from our senses. This has inspired many songs, and this is one of my favorites that expresses this feeling,
One of my Favorite Songs by Nat King Cole
This song, and the magnificent autumn nature scenes in this video, together evoke this mood of melancholy over a lost love. Be sure to watch, not just listen to the video. It is a visual treat -- especially the little fox toward the end, peeking his head over a rock or log -- I can't tell which.
How Does Autumn Make You Feel?
A Poll on Autumn Moods
Do you have a predominate mood or emotion during the fall season? Or do you feel pretty much the same way you do in other seasons? Please take our poll just for fun.
What is your autumn mood?
The Seeds of New Life are Harvested and Planted in Autumn
Fruit of the Walnut Tree
Autumn Bring New Seeds for the Trees
Although autumn is recognized as the season of harvest, many people don't think of the seeds that trees produce as part of that harvest unless they are edible. We harvest our nuts and apples in autumn, but often ignore the fruit of other trees that contain their seeds. Small acorns become mighty oaks as they drop to the ground or are carried away by the small creatures who hide or bury them. Pine cones are also fruit. We had to pull up many small trees that grew from the seeds in the pods on the Goldenrain tree in the picture above.
As you walk through a forest, your yard, or even a park or city sidewalk lined with trees, you will often see their autumn fruit hanging in balls, on wings, as nuts, or even as berries. You can pick them up and plant them or you can leave the job of planting to the wind, the birds, the squirrels, and other small creatures. I have little oaks, baby peach trees, and other tiny trees I had no part in planting. Before you decide it's a weed, take a close look -- it might be a baby tree you can transplant to a more desirable place.
What do you like best about autumn?
Is it the leaves changing color, watching kids jump on the fallen leaves, bringing in the harvest, the beginning of your rainy season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or a local celebration? Or is it the beginning of a new school year? The return of cooler weather? There are so many facets of autumn to appreciate.
What do you most enjoy about autumn?
Autumn is a Season of Gratitude
Autumn brings with it many blessings. In our part of California, we normally get our first rains of the new rainy season. We harvest our crops. We see an abundance of autumn squashes, pumpkins, and gourds in our farmers market.
Here in Paso Robles the citizens celebrate Pioneer Day, and the Central Coast Railroad Festival comes to town. These events bring the community together to celebrate their heritage, even as the children learn more about the history of their city. The schools enter floats in the Pioneer Day Parade, and everyone gets a free bean feed in the park.
When these festivities are over, it's almost time for Halloween or a harvest festival, along with the many fall religious celebrations and holy days. It all culminates with Thanksgiving, when we gather as families to express our gratitude for the blessings God has given us. It's our last chance to catch our collective breath before we are caught up in the preparations for our winter celebrations.
During this time with family and, perhaps, preparing or serving dinner to those who have no home, I am thankful for all I have have-- from the roof over my head, and enough to eat, to the joy of living in the United States of America. Thanksgiving is the soul of autumn, and gratitude is its music.
My Favorite Songs of Gratitude
Feel free to share your favorite part of autumn or the mood it evokes in you.