“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant
Autumn doesn’t come early to Southern California by any means. We’ll be lucky if it starts to feel like Fall in time for Halloween. This is the season that i miss the most after moving to California. Not Winter with its harsh cold breaking through your skin to your bones, nor the slippery hidden ice on roads or general dirtiness of Winter streets covered in gravel and sand. However the first silent snowfall of the season…I do miss that, but the rest, it’s okay, you can keep it. But then there is Autumn and that’s a different story. Ask any transplanted East Coaster and i suspect they’ll agree: there isn’t anything quite like Autumn.
We slowly moved away from the Summer months. Only memories of the joyous laughter echoing out of backseats on long drives back following exuberant beach days. The mirth of childhood is once again abruptly replaced with more serious manner. The days are drifting into night more quickly and we know school is back in session by the sure stillness and quiet air that breathes into our home.
Then there are all the farmers markets filled with apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins! Glorious colors fill every stand and super market storefront. The temperature once again cools at night and the skies are filled with a luster that’s reserved for this time of year. There is a maturity and responsibility that comes with Fall reminiscent of harvesting and gathering in preparation for those long Winter months. The leaves are turning older, until they can no longer hang on and they slowly drift downward. It’s almost mythical, aglow like a Phoenix bursting into flames, the dust of ashes remaining through Winter only to be rebirthed in Spring. It’s a seasonal dance that we look forward to year after year.
So we celebrate Fall, we celebrate what we miss the most. We color our homes with hues of orange and reds, bouquets with tiny pumpkins and gourds in all shapes and sizes. We celebrate the night skies, the blood moons, the season of the witch, the ghouls and goblins all the while yearning for those long walks so vibrantly featured throughout Instagram. We know once school is no longer tethering us to Spring and Summer excursions that we will venture to lands of Ashes, Oaks and Maples and revel in the season that holds our heart the most. We will celebrate autumn and all it’s glory, in person once again. Autumn truly is the year’s last loveliest smile…
Photo: Kelly Norris Sarno