Thursday, October 27, 2016


(With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I'm borrowing her phrase, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." From Sonnet 43 in Sonnets from the Portuguese.)

This is my love song to Autumn.

I love Autumn for its colors--never the same twice; adjusted and revised, tinted and deepened, over and over and over. Leaves, flowers, pumpkins, cornstalks.

I love Autumn for its fragrances--smoke from wood-burning fireplaces and stoves; the last barbecue of the season; the wine-y smell of fresh apples gathered into the barn at a local orchard; the spice of chrysanthemums ready to plant in flower beds.

I love Autumn for its sounds--lawn mowers and leaf blowers, the municipal vacuum truck; homeowners and carpenters finishing the last bit of repair or construction before the weather changes; rain--wind-blown or gentle--against the roof at night.

I love Autumn for the tastes we create, now that we can heat up the oven--raisin-studded oatmeal cookies, muffins, brownies (so quick to make!), apple pies and fruit crisps; chili in the slow cooker; pork roast with root veggies in the oven; soup, any kind, just so it's soup.

I love Autumn for the touch of soft leather gloves, the rasp of a hand-knitted scarf against my chin; the weight of a shawl or ruana over my turtleneck; corduroys and heavy denims for warmth. And socks! Heavy socks, reaching up the shins to keep out chilly air.

As I gathered my thoughts for this post, a phrase kept playing in my mind: "Heaven and Nature sing!"

Well, of course they do! In every season Heaven and Nature sing a different song. I celebrate all of them--yes, even summer, my least favorite--but my true love is Autumn.

Even when we have the little season called Indian Summer, with its few days of sun and warmth, Autumn is much too short. Frosty nights are a foretaste of weather to come. 

But until that time, celebrate Autumn. Revel in her colors and tastes. Make room for cookies and soups. Heat up the outdoor grill one last time. Wrap up warm and go to your favorite team's football game.

Yes, indeed. Heaven and Nature sing!