It was that certain something, that particular breath in the breeze that I didn’t quite notice at first. Or was it a scent? Or a flash of color in the tree branch by the kitchen window? Somehow the world has whispered in my ear during these first few days of September that autumn is on its way. And I can’t help but be glad.
Why is it that the first signs of autumn—the season that will hearken in the bitter winds of winter—feel so warm and cozy? When I was a little girl, my siblings and I knew fall was on its way when we walked out of evening services at our little church and smelled smoke wafting from my grandparents’ fireplace a block away. The weather might still be warm enough for us to break a sweat during the 3-minute trek to their doorstep, but no matter—we knew autumn was coming. It was a good feeling, a comforting feeling. However much we might have enjoyed the past few weeks of swimming in Cherokee Lake, playing softball, sucking on popsicles, fishing in Wolfe’s pond, or running through the sprinkler in our yard, we celebrated that precursory smoke and the calmer, quieter, cozier adventures it would usher in: hikes in the woods, evening hay rides, pumpkin carving, leaf collecting, cider sipping.
No, I’m not ready to start choosing Halloween costumes or baking pumpkin pies just yet, but my girls and I can’t wait to go apple picking; to hear the local marching bands begin their drills; to visit a nearby county fair; and to celebrate the autumnal equinox (September 22 this year).
So come on in, autumn, and pull up a chair. We’ll share stories from when you’ve visited before, and you’ll help us cook up some new ones that will bring comfort and warmth in years to come.