Sometime this past summer I made a vow that I was going to enjoy each season as it was. I was going to try to not complain about the heat of summer or the cold of winter, and would attempt to refrain from lamenting about fall being the harbinger of winter. Come to think of it, the only season I didn’t really complain about was spring, for it was getting warmer, the days were noticeably longer and all was fresh and new. So here I sit writing my thoughts regarding the end of summer in Maine and the onset of autumn.
My mother commented the other day how the hummingbirds had left even though the weather was still quite balmy. She figured that it had to do something with the change of the light and length of day. I would tend to agree with this as my drive to and from work is a bit more challenging due to the position of the sun, a tell tale sign of seasonal change.
Whether it was the change in the angle of the sun or something else, this week in particular heralded change for me. I began to long for the comfort of a pair of jeans and the warmth of a hoodie. I made heartier food, although I will confess the cravings started 2-3 weeks ago when I went in search of winter squash and potatoes. This week however I sought the comfort of soup and whole grains. I made coffee this evening, preferring something warm to drink to the icy, sweating glass of Kool-Aid that had been drink du jour for the past two months. When I crawled into bed last night the warmth and weight of my comforter wrapped up to my chin coupled with a chill on the tip of my nose made me smile. I had come to love autumn! I won’t lie; I continue to be concerned with having to drive in the snow and oil bills. I still do not like being cold and suffering with cold feet all day today was distracting, but these past few weeks did not fill me with dread as they had in previous years. Rather, when the cold front moved through the other day, I was filled with anticipation like a child is filled with anticipation just before Christmas, I was going to be able to wear heavier clothes, eat warmer food and curl up under a blanket with a good book. The past week has had pumpkins, apples and Vermont cheese dancing in my head. I am longing for colored leaves and crisp morning air.
As autumn arrives I am thankful to be a New Englander. I hope to savor each unique moment of the season: the harvest, the warmth of blankets and heavier clothing. The beautiful sunrises and sunsets I will witness since the sun rises later and sets earlier. The sense of awe I will have watching the leaves don their final beauty for the year, as the earth prepares for its winter rest and the trees, having shed their leafy mantle, stretch their bare limbs to the sky waiting to receive the first snowflakes. I wish for everyone that in the midst of our daily lives we do not crave something other than what we have, failing to take time to appreciate each day for what it is, for it is “the present.”