Every year at this time, when the weather gets cooler and the trees change colors, it stirs feelings inside me identical to passionately falling in love. Autumn makes me feel more alive than any other season. I don't want to just pass by a colorful tree, I want to absorb it into all of my senses. I want to pick a leaf and take it with me as a lock of hair from a lover.
I am drawn outside like a secret meeting between me and my love. I stop what I'm doing and close my eyes and breathe in the fragrances the wind carries to me. I admire watching the movements and sounds the leaves make as they fall and blow in the wind. I am engulfed with so many great pleasures while being around all of the trees, every color and each breeze. I find it hard to get to daily activities because of the distraction and allure of the radiant glowing of the tri-colored tree which brightens my entire room. I awaken earlier and drink my hot tea outside while sitting on my front porch swing. I love to wrap myself in a light jacket and admire the many changes of colors on the trees and leaves that lay on the ground. These colors are luxurious to my eyes and I absorb them into my soul.
Yearly, I begin my autumn ritual of preparing pumpkin bread that has soft pieces of fresh pumpkin mixed into the loaf. This recipe is very involved and takes much of my time to create, and it is worth every moment. This is one of my mothers recipes I have adopted and my own family gets very excited when they see my kitchen filled with the supplies and the stations being prepared for this beloved homemade treat. My children eat my pumpkin bread toasted with butter or just nibble it cold through out the day. Autumn soup is another traditional food that I prepare which announces that fall is here. My family adores this rich warm soup. These two recipes cook all day and engulf the house with its mouth watering fragrance that tortures everyone, while also making them crave it all day. Isn't it interesting how traditional recipes excite and announce the beginning of the new season.
I enjoy taking long walks through the woods and hiking trials. I've guided some special people in my life if they are adventurous enough to climb mountains. I long to see the colors of fall from a different vantage point. Hikes in the autumn aren't usually filled with complaints about bugs and the temperature. Instead there are comments of them wanting to share what they have found. There are so many beautiful sights along a hike even if there is no major destination. I love sharing stories with my fellow hikers about past trips and colors I have seen. One year in Connecticut I came across a path that was fully covered with bright yellow slender leaves. It was astonishing to see only bright yellow covering the path. I stopped and snapped a photo, which I'll find and share on a future post. I remember running as a child would, right into the yellow leaves grabbing handfuls of leaves and let the wind blow them in a gust and watching them fall like three inch helicopters whirling back to the ground. I hold that moment fresh in my mind and this year I showed my son how beautiful it is and how freeing it feels. Fall has it's own obvious visual identity. It has it's own smells, taste, sounds. The first chill we feel on an Autumn morning, we start our first fire. The glowing warmth continues into late that evening. The lingering smoky fragrance of a fire is like no other outside during a chilly day.
Do you still rake the leaves and kick through them to hear them crunch? Do you let your kids jump into the hills of leaves you rake? Have you taken your Autumn walk with your family this year? Go! Take a brown paper bag and gather fun items along the way. It will become your trail mix. Once you get home pour out and look at the treasures everyone gathered and place them somewhere for a few days to be admired and touched. Cherish what you find, they are so beautiful.
My first fall in New England I laminated my bright leaves. That was fourteen years ago and they have still kept their colors. Do you share my passion for this season? Tell me about it.