When the trees change and the first hints come that summer is slipping away, autumn slips in, silently, subtly. The first hints of autumn are the change in the slant of the light, and that delicious crispness in the morning air. Then the trees are bursting with color and the prairie grasses ignite with the hues of autumn.
Autumn is a time of foreshadowing. We know that winter is on its way and autumn, perhaps more than the other seasons, tempts us with glimpses of winter. Heavy frost in the mornings, the first dustings of snow, ice on the windshields. That special slant in the light.
Autumn is a time of tenacity. Leaves cling to the trees, as if reluctant to fall. Little clusters of trees retain their autumn glow. Wildflowers persist into the first snows and through the first frosts. Birds so fragile they’d seem unfit to weather the winter persevere in their downy warmth.
Autumn is a time of preparation. A time of readying for the coming winter. The trees and plants put away their summer garb and settle into themselves and into the earth, quiet, resting, biding their time until winter is gone and spring has arrived. Animals begin to grow their winter furs, and they harvest their winter store of nuts and seeds. Birds fly south. Mankind puts up firewood and garden produce, winterizes their homes, and drags out the bins of winter clothing and coats and boots and mittens.Autumn is a time of abundance. And what abundance! Not only the abundance of the harvest, and the abundance of garden produce and fresh preserves glimmering with color, but abundance of fragrances, sights, sounds, tastes, textures. The perfume of moss and brown leaves and damp, the burning reds and golds and saffrons of the trees and underbrush and prairie grasses, the sounds of crackling leaves underfoot and flocking birds and moaning autumn winds and rain and the muted whisper of the fog, the taste of the crisp almost-winter air, the tapestry of fallen leaves and bare trees and rattling grasses and pods of the long-gone summer flowers. The abundance is overwhelming.
Autumn is here. Winter is on her way. So we revel in the last fleeting warmth, but also look forward to another glorious season.