Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn is Icumen In


Things I have noticed:
  • The occasional emblazoned tree or brilliant leaf.
  • Craving for pumpkin baked goods.
  • Evenings getting darker earlier.
  • Neighbors erecting those shelters for Sukkot.
  • Long shadows at 9:00 am.
  • Wistful feelings.
  • Snuggling.
  • Autumn smell.
As my friend Foff put it one time, when explaining to someone from SF why she loved New England so much, there is a distinct smell in the air on the first day of every season. Not necessarily on the calendar date, but on the first REAL day. It is a smell so familiar and haunting, because it hearkens back to every other cool, damp autumn (or crispy cold winter or hazy lazy summer or brilliant mushy spring) you've spent in this place. Each season so distinct and SO intense. Sneaking like a thief until that one day you step outside your door and breathe in and the air is carrying a new but oh so intimate scent and your whole body and responds to the memories.

I don't really tend to like autumn, because it means winter's coming: darkness, even sadness. However, this year, somehow, I feel brave, excited, and yes, a bit wistful. On that breeze I can smell those twenty-five past autumns, but what's more, I can smell so many more future ones which haven't even happened yet.

This weekend we go out to Pittsfield, all of us minus one brother this year, who is too far away to come camping with us. It is sad. And we remember at autumn that life is about change. Good and bad change both. Try to hold it close and you'll be left staring at the trees' clutching, empty fingers. Best to just ride your bike and pick apples and press pretty leaves between the pages of your favorite book to rediscover one winter's evening.

4 comments:

ju said...

juju-pup smiles.

ambrosia ananas said...

I love that picture. And autumn is one of my favorite things--cold winds and warm soups and hot chocolate. And of course, the leaves. I'm glad you're excited about this one.

Rachel. said...

I like your hope. even during a season which inspires you to think of the word "wither" before any other. I also like your friend's description of the way fall smells, and your memories associated with that truth, of every past and future fall together.

Newt said...

As we were driving back from camping this morning (beautiful Berkshires!), the sun was still low, and frost was lingering in the shade, hugging the edges of the shadows.

The frost somehow made me feel excited for puffs of breath on cold starry nights, pink noses, and solstice.

brozy - I am amazed that autumn is one of your favorites! I guess I've never understood it. Maybe now I almost can, though. Almost. :)