Friday, October 21, 2005

Autumn thoughts..

Summertime is gone my friends. It slowly comes...but quickly ends. It's been replaced by time called Autumn. Nature changes hues from top to bottom. Green gives way to red & gold. A lovely vision to behold.. whirling leaves go blowing by, carrying smells of pumpkin pies! The air turns crisp...the sky fades grey. Indian corn and bales of hay...overcoats, apple cider.. No more evenings on the glider! The harvest moon so orange & round, Holidays will soon abound. Soon the chrysanthemum petals start to unfold & Pumpkin festivals abound.

There is still the warmth of summer in an early October day; and the cool of autumn in the evenings. October is a month to be carefree.. The herb gardens are harvested.. all hanging to dry, the loft is full of summers hay, rows of canning jars fill the cupboards. Fall.. in New England I will remember with fondness. Freed from garden & other cares, we can explore "leaf peepin". We can watch the chipmunks with bulging cheeks scurry into the stone walls & admire the hummingbirds, still busy among the geraniums & bee balm. We have time for apple pickin' and baking.
Our trees are old and gnarled and widely scattered. Sometimes I think they had been planted by Johnny Appleseed's wide flung hands.

We can go to the fairs, spend a day or two antiquing.
We can pick beach plums & visit cranberry bogs. We can go to the beach for a lobster, pick up driftwood along the quiet beaches, & gather shells & wild beach rosehips. New Hampshire abounds in exhibits of handwork done in earlier times as well as present. Ours is a proud heritage of skill & good taste now being appreciated even more. Many with deft fingers are now following the example of our forebears.. taking pride in their handiwork.. As a rughooker, I'll take inventory of wools. In my basket there will be rugs unfinished since last winter.. but, soon to be tackled again & completed, hopefully before the Deerfield Fair! Oh, but I have more soaps to make too! Only so many hours in the day.. * sigh :+)

The smell of Autumn is in the earth, in the ripe apples & the clean sea & clean pure air. The mornings glisten as the sun falls across the fields with frost. A full golden flood illuninates the garden from the warm October sun which washes over maple, birch & oak leaves. We swish through dry leaves on the lawn and we rake & rake & rake! What harvest.. for the compost pile; what dividends in fine leaf mold in spring, bright healthy flowers in summer!

Walking the fields each afternoon in Fall is a favorite pasttime of Jackson Molly & Duffy! Leaves drop in whispers. Behind us there snaps a twig which is not timed to our own footsteps..and acorns fall with a bounce to the ground & wind stirring through the leaves.... freezing them in their tracks. Are the woods haunted????

The woods are haunted in October by the same 'little people' who inhabit them every other month of the year. Thoughts of witches & goblins & elves and fairies in October have filled the world with fright longer than anyone can record with certainty and the season wouldn't be complete without them.

" There are fairies at the bottom of gardens, and we have often found their traces there.. If you do not believe in fairies in the garden you are not a true gardener. They touch a box with a wand & make a palace for a homeless bird. In mischievous play, they pull up flowers & plant them in more surprising places. They weave silken webs from flower to flower & paint the wings of butterflies. In October they blow on the bittersweet & make berries pop open into gay necklaces of red & gold."

At the bottom of an old-fashioned garden the fairies arrange their mushroom conference stools in a fairy ring, and name all the flowers! Who else could have thought up such delightful names: Sweet William, foxglove, cowslip, Sweet Annie, snow-in-the-summer, larkspur, bee balm.... morning glory, johnny-jump-ups & bleeding heart. These fairies name them all!! But of course..there are fairies in the bottom of the garden.What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year,than an open wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of applewood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and bluebirds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring. Happy Autumn!