Orion is high in the sky now on my early morning walks with our dog. Today is a perfect, crisp autumn morning, with a lovely chill in the air. Our hours of sunlight have rapidly decreased and the frogs and crickets are subdued when I can hear them at all. The rustling of the leaves, near peak color now, is this season’s music.
The first autumn that I lived in Minnesota, I was so happy to observe all these signs of the season that I kept the windows open all the time even though I was freezing, having just moved from a climate in which the average day was 50 degrees warmer. I had moved to the desert Southwest with great excitement 10 years earlier, but had not anticipated how much I would miss the annual cycle with which I grew up.
It’s very cold here in the winter. There are days when the streets and sidewalks are too icy to walk safely. Some days it’s a horrible time getting to or from work – and some winters, like our last, it’s like that most days. But I learned that observing and experiencing the cycle of the temperate climate four seasons is absolutely essential for me.
This is the final month in the garden – I’ll be raking leaves and using them to cover the vegetable and herb beds (which allows kale and lavender to overwinter), cutting back summer’s amazing greenery to allow for new growth in the spring, and putting away irrigation lines, watering cans, and shovels. By October I’m always ready to put the garden to bed for winter, to allow time for festive holidays, indoor projects like sewing and writing, and baking, both savory and sweet, which fills our home with warmth and delicious aromas all winter.
This weekend, Thom and I will spend as much time as possible in the sunshine and garden… walking, raking, listening to the birds, talking. Mari will go to a gigantic corn maze with a friend. I’ll harvest the last of our apples (perfectly tart Harelsons) and bake a pie in honor of my mom, who makes the world’s best pies. All simple and frugal activities – and all so rewarding in body and mind.
What feeds your soul in autumn?