I stand amongst rows of pumpkins. Lined up like a marching band arranged across a football field. Happy, as the gentle sun washes across my face, while a crisp air dances on my skin. Various colors and shapes call out to me as if they know my intentions. Each with a distinct personality. A vibrant color. Or subtle hue. All different shapes and sizes, lined up for inspection. Some robust and grand. Others so silly I can’t resist. Take me home with you they say. Illuminate your creative carvings with a candle’s glow. So I may delight the child in all of us.
Spirited children run playfully around pumpkins as harried parents chase behind. Reminding me of the gentle season of life I now embrace.
We’ll venture out to harvest bittersweet, as we have for the past thirty-some years. I’ll entwine it through pumpkins and candles while it’s still pliable. Before the light orange pods pop open, proudly announcing the brightly colored berry-like seed under its wings. As if to say, ta-dah, look what Mother Nature has done for you! Like a dancer before her final bow.
I will bake ginger crackles from an old friend’s recipe. I’ll sip homemade hot chocolate topped off with freshly whipped cream. And dream of next year this time, in our brand new home. As I sit by the fireplace listening to the crackle and pop of dried branches, savoring their woody smell. Happily ensconced by all the things I’ve missed.
I’ll behold autumn’s brilliant grand finale, until Mother Nature stores it away for another year.
Remembering that too soon, autumn’s frost tipped leaves will succumb to winter’s chill. Ushering in a season of celebration and awe, as we reflect on our blessings. Or pray for strength and grace. In this, I sit splendidly in my favorite season. Of majesty and amber sunsets. Roasted marshmallows and apple cider by the fire. Of harvest moons and hayrides. Bittersweet wrapped underneath a candle’s flame. Football games and tailgates. Pumpkin pie and apple crisp. And of cinnamon scented days as spicy potpourri simmers on the stove.
I will call to mind gratitude and patience, as we learn to “fall back.”
Before long, the last leaf will cascade to the ground, creating the perfect pillow for a winter’s slumber. And the earth will turn stark and contemplative once again.
Until then. I will harvest autumn’s bounty.
“Delicious autumn. My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Eliot