As much as I dread winter, autumn is still my favorite season. I love so many things about it.
There’s usually a subtlety to it’s arrival. The extra coolness in a breeze. The way a shadow newly falls across something familiar. Sunlight turns golden as the earth turns it’s face away from the sun.
And of course, the leaves.
The air is clearer, less humid, the skies are bluer.
Squirrels dart about noisily amidst the dry leaves looking for acorns.
The smell of rotting foliage, like a mixture of rich earth and freshly split wood.
A crazily honking V flies overhead.
A night walk is so quiet that stepping on a crunchy leaf sounds downright rude, and crushing an acorn is like a pistol shot.
Autumn has it’s own iconography — the harvest, the pumpkins and gourds, horns of plenty (cornucopia), Indian corn, scarecrows.
It’s a time of reaping, but it’s also a time of endings. But this isn’t a harsh season, it just contains the _threat_ of winter. Robert Burton in his “Anatomy of Melancholy” calls it the most melancholy season — I would disagree, autumn contains a bittersweet, sublime melancholy. Late in the season life is fading from the world and everything is muted muted.
The days getting shorter as night gradually creeps further into the day and the world seems to have a little less potential for getting things done. There’s a reason there are so many autumn pictures of abandoned park benches, this is as season of turning inward.
Spring with it’s sense of potential and sexuality, and summer with it’s long, fun days and forgiving nature are both long gone now. Autumn is a mysterious, deceptive in-between state, a time of adulthood and reflection. A time of beauty and mortality.
There’s a reason Halloween falls in this season, and it’s not just Halloween that gives it it’s creepy, magical character. There’s just something about this time of year, something in the air.
More eye candy for you…