When I close my eyes and imagine, no matter the scene, it is almost always autumn. My senses come alive when I feel the change from the heat of summer to the comfort of a fall wind. The sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feel of the impending winter, fill my senses with a longing for rest, ending with a renewal of everything.
The first sign of the earth preparing for hibernation is the changing of the forest. The leaves make their transition from the crisp greens to the warm hues of gold, red, orange and brown. There is a slow shower of colors, gracefully floating to the ground, leaving the land covered in its multicolored blanket of fall.
I can smell the faint scent of decay as the leaves build thick and the damp begins. I might be gifted with a wafting of warm cider or the first pumpkin pie of the season. Cinnamon begins to permeate my mind and takes me to the memories of meals, warmth and bygone love.
The first bite of that sticky, sugary, crisp caramel apple rushes flavor sensations through my veins. The wafting of a turkey that has been roasting for hours brings an uncontrollable salivation that only a stolen taste can satisfy. The warmth that a cup of hot chocolate brings to the belly of the partially frozen can only be enjoyed when the weather has turned harsh.
An afternoon walk brings the crunching of leaves under foot, ringing to my ears. I can hear the cracking of the trees as the winds push hard against the steadfast branches. The pitter patter of the rain as it hits the roof, runs through the gutters and disperses into the welcoming ground brings comfort in the night, while snuggled under the newly acquired quilts.
I can feel the season changing inside me. I have a strong need to button up and prepare for the harsh and cold. Wood shed filled, yards raked clear, flowerbeds put to sleep until they reawaken with the spring. Pantry stocked, freezer full and bedding changed to allow for slumber through the achingly cold nights.
All is ready. All is prepared. The home and the earth slowly fade into the dark of winter.