Since childhood I have anticipated the arrival of autumn with baited breath. I abhor summer. I hate heat and don’t like to sweat. So when I step outside in late September or early October and feel the nip in the air, smell the wood burning in homes and see smoke curling like ribbon from chimneys, I feel my heart lighten. The cold invades my mind, my blood – almost my very soul and I am at peace. Autumn has arrived!
The fall also brings memories. It takes me back to Grandma’s kitchen and family dinners with four generations around her table with its collection of homemade pies and canned fruits. Although it’s been said many times before, it is still true: times were simpler then. There were no cell phones, no internet, no home computers or laptops – yet we communicated with one another on a deeper level. We wrote letters. We talked. Family dinners weren’t just for physical nourishment. They nourished each attendee in a more profound sense. We connected. Perhaps we weren’t as globally aware, but we were more locally aware. We knew our neighbors. We had potlucks and street parties.
And autumn was the greatest time of year. It brought Halloween and especially Thanksgiving – that time of year when we were especially thankful for everything – our livelihood, our homes, and most importantly, our families.
At times I can still smell Grandma’s kitchen. It smelled of home, love and memories. With the turning of the leaves and the multicolored hues outdoors came a cacophony of scents and colors indoors. There was pumpkin pie, cherry and blueberry pie – bread baking and turkey roasting. A walk outside of Grandma’s home brought color to the cheeks and joy to the heart. The rust, chestnut, ginger and golden leaves crunched under our boots and reminded us that time rolls ever forward – nothing stays the same. The world is painted so beautifully in autumn – yet these colors vanish in such a short time and the world turns white. Still beautiful and pure in its own way, winter lies silent – calm, yet sleeping. Like a child that rests at night, then gives way to the blossom of youth, eternally cycling through life.
The seasons march ever onward and the “good old days” become memories. But every September, autumn brings with it a homecoming within our hearts and minds. These memories are of a simpler time when we weren’t quite so busy and Grandma’s table was our Facebook. As a friend once said, “Isn’t it a shame we don’t realize they’re the ‘good old days’ when they’re still the ‘good old days?’” Amen to that…and thank you Autumn. Thank you for cold, invigorating air, your beautiful colors and the forever reminder that each moment should be savored and kept sacred – just like memories of Grandma’s house.