Autumn Preparations


laughing witchBack in September when I ordered my daughter’s Halloween costume, the end of October seemed an eternity away, but it’s here now. Crop dust fills the air now, creating orange, pinks, and purple-greys at twilight against which the newly naked trees find themselves silhouetted. No longer do colorful songbirds hide among leafy branches, instead giant ravens perch on spindly branches cawing their “Nevermore” warning. The wind blows in change.

October that time of frozen mornings, deliciously warm afternoons, and chilly eves.

Autumn was my mother’s favorite season of the year. She and my Dad often spoke of the Harvest Moon, and later in life, she loved to sit outside with my Dad or one of her children and watch the sunset and lingering twilight of autumn days. Now I can appreciate more my mom’s love of fall,  though I didn’t when I was a child, preferring the endless, lazy daylight of summer.

When my daughter and I were talking about the impending dates of Halloween, Thanksgiving and her birthday, my daughter remarked, “We better start getting ready now. The days are so short—they go by so fast!” Indeed they do.

There is something invigorating about this time of year—in all the busy-ness. The earth is preparing to sleep for winter, and in that preparation there is so much activity. Squirrels collect nuts, birds are migrating and on the move, many mammals are eating and gorging to prepare for a long sleep over the barren winter. Even Orion, the hunter, has traveled back into our skies, eager for the hunt. And the big and little dippers are in perfect position for easy viewing on a moonless night (not too chilly yet to enjoy looking at the stars).

We, too, are busy—huge combines dot the landscape as the feed corn is brought in. Fall festivals, originally to celebrate the harvest and always including a hearty meal, abound. We fill our food pantries to assist our neighbors, and total strangers, who may find themselves in difficult circumstances. Our children participate in service projects at school, at church, in scouts and other places. We collect coats, mittens, hats, blankets. There is true community—and just for a little while we remember that we are all more successful when we work together and reach out in charity, mercy, kindness and love. We actually practice with our actions what so many of us preach with our words.

There is so very much to do before we are greeted with the quiet beauty of Jack Frost’s paintings in winter, but we can also stop, for just a minute, and take it all in. Because, after all “the days are so short—they go by so fast.”

Happy autumn!

©2015 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

 

Author: Michele

Michele Arduengo is a life science and medical writer by profession and a creative non-fiction writer by hobby. In addition to publishing Grits and Purls since 2008, Michele has published essays in Wisconsin Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul and has a weekly column in her local newspaper.

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