As my house filled with the smell of pumpkin and ginger, I could not help but reflect on fall. A season of change. The only season awarded not one, but two names. It is crisp and efficient and if you do not plan, if you do not get outside to experience its wonders, if you blink, the leaves are already on the ground. Fall is our chance to transition from summer's easy living to the harsh winds and bitter nights of winter. It comes in gently, lulling us in with its sweet whispers,
"Look at my leaves, children. Look how beautiful I am. Come and climb my trees and hike my mountains. Breathe deep, for this is fresh. Breathe it in, for this is real. This is beautiful. This is autumn. Take me in."
We always hear her, but do we listen? This fall when you go pumpkin picking, head out as far as you can. Do not miss out on the lonely pumpkin in the back. When filling your bucket with apples, sample at least five on the way back to the barn. As you rake your front lawn into piles of leaves you better jump on them because before you know it the piles are frozen and it will hurt like hell when you land.
Too soon fall leaves us behind and winter begins to creep, the trees become barren and dark, the sun shines less and less and the air gets cold and tight and unfriendly. Left of her are only the leaves on the ground, slowly mixing with mud and being covered by frosts and then snows and then blizzards. Every once in awhile, in the dead of winter, you see a yellow leaf peaking through a frozen mass, and she winks at you, "Remember me?"
Fall marks change and transition. It helps us bridge from one extreme to another, but we cannot forget about the wonders of fall itself.
That was when I noticed a faint burning smell coming from the kitchen. Luckily I was able to rescue my Pumpkin Ginger Bread out of the oven before I damaged it too much. I think I will have a slice with some cider.