Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autumn's Blush

Autumn’s blush is upon us, urging us to gather wood for the hearth. Red Apple cider simmers on the stove, cinnamon sticks adding fragrance, spicing the sweet flavors. Caramel thickens upon the glossy green apples, sealing in the good, fresh taste of summer.

A nearby bluff exploding in Autumn's color as seen from our boat

Our labor calls to us, forcing us outside to sweep leaves into piles and when the wind is kind, burn them slowly, releasing signals upon the heavy air. The odor reminds us of the chimneys that will soon send smoky ribbons aloft.

Summer’s wear gives way to long sleeves, closed toed shoes, and pants that cover our ankles. We adjust to the weight of fleece and wool and flannel for these comfort and warm us. 

Yellow blooms give way to orange gourds, and blue skies grow rare, more often smothered and stirred into clouds heavy with late rains. Those red wheelbarrows and small red hollies revive us.

We add color to our lives with candles aglow, twinkling lights, soft lamps in dim corners. We stack books beside the bed where they will carry us into afternoon naps. We must store energy for the long cloistered days ahead.

The Boy Scout within makes sure we have snow-melt or sand or kitty litter on hand, some even sacked and stashed in the trunks of our cars. We also stock up for days when we may not be able to travel: bottled water, canned tuna, broth, tea, coffee, popcorn, marshmallows, a bit of chocolate, and pure vanilla extract. Even if we know better than to make snow ice cream, it’s irresistible so we need plenty of vanilla.

The freezer holds meat, proving our confidence in the power of power companies to restore light and heat. The pantry hides three-dozen candles. They prove that our optimism has been tempered by experience with the dark and cold.

We take walks hoping to catch a glimpse of deer and wild turkey. Above, the eagles return from other air to prepare their nests for the next generation. They remind us to use the Autumn to make ready for the Spring.