Hello, I’m Miss Autumn…

…And Other Random Thoughts About the Season

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Autumn in New York: Photo taken by me during a trip to New York a couple of years ago.

Autumn has arrived in San Diego!

How do I know? For starters, we’ve had our first rain in, well, forever.  Because, I’m pretty sure the last time it rained was way back in–I can’t remember. We hardly ever get rain in these parts except in winter–and autumn, too, of course!

So autumn came a few weeks late this year, but now that it’s here, this is as good a time as any to let you in on a little secret:

Autumn and I go way back, and that’s the truth.

In fact, in some circles I’m known as Miss Autumn, I kid you not. Okay, full disclosure: Only Amy, who wore her hair in braids in first grade, ever called me by that name, and I’d call her by the same, because we were both born on the autumn equinox, which, in our eyes, made us both pretty special.

This is what autumn looks like at the park near my home.

This is what autumn looks like at the park near my home.

So, autumn and I are kindred spirits. Which means, if autumn represents the last season before death (aka, winter), then I must’ve always been an old soul, one who has been in my twilight years since I was a kid playing in the sandbox.

Even when I was still in my mother’s womb, I can remember sucking my tiny thumb while listening to one of the most popular songs of the day, The Autumn Leaves, as sung by Nat King Cole. My mother played it so often on the Hi-FI, that, by the time I was born, the lyrics were firmly sealed into my bank of memories:

“The falling leaves drift by the window, the autumn leaves of red and gold…”

Which is why, long before I learned to say, “mama” and “papa,” I’d gurgle, “autumn leaves” to anyone who’d listen. Only no one could understand what I was saying.

Basically for me, autumn starts with my birthday and culminates way before the official end of the season. Right around the time when Santa rides into Herald Square on Thanksgiving Day, about three weeks before the winter solstice.

Signs that autumn is upon us can be found everywhere:

In the changing colors of the leaves.

DSC00117In the cookies we eat.

In the annual broadcast of It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the TV special featuring piles of leaves.

In songs like, See You in September and Autumn in New York.

In the multitude of homes bedecked with pumpkins and Jack o’ Lanterns.

And speaking of the season, you might as well know right now, I prefer to say, “autumn,” and not “fall.”  If you ask me, “fall” reminds me of such expressions as, “fall from grace” and “fall off the wagon.”

I know, I know. It’s called fall because of the leaves that fall off the trees. But to me, calling it fall makes autumn sound klutzy. Like it’s in a constant state of falling and can’t get up.

But clearly, autumn is so much more than leaves plunging, however delicately, to their demise. Autumn is all about harvest time, carving pumpkins and bobbing for apples. Hayrides are fun but can make you sneeze if you have hay-fever allergies, as I do.

Autumn is a time to reflect on the summers of our youth and look ahead to the winters of our discontent.

Autumn is Thanksgiving, which is really the centerpiece of the season, if you ask me. And don’t get me started on those funny-looking gourds. They tend to look sinister, like they’re up to no good.

Autumn is a horn of plenty and being grateful for what you have by saying things like, “My cup runneth over.” Autumn is election time, too, and remembering our veterans on the aptly named, Veterans Day.DSCN6065

If you happen to be anywhere near my old stomping grounds, be sure to stop by the Jericho Cider Mill. The cider there is like no other. How I long for a sip of it this time of year! So refreshingly tart.

A good many movies have been centered around autumn. But right now, I can’t think of any. Though technically, Miracle on 34th Street starts on Thanksgiving Day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which falls in autumn.

I mean, who doesn’t love autumn? It’s all that stands between our days of sunbathing at the beach and fighting blizzard-like conditions.

I was inspired to share my thoughts of autumn with you after reading a post written by Deborah Batterman, The Sound of One Leaf Falling. Be sure to check it out!

So what does autumn mean to you and what do you do to honor the season?

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In closing, I leave you with Nat King Cole’s evocative rendition of The Autumn Leaves. It’s a true classic.

33 thoughts on “Hello, I’m Miss Autumn…

  1. First, I love this sentence: “Autumn is a time to reflect on the summers of our youth and look ahead to the winters of our discontent.” Well said.

    Secondly, this tells me a lot about why you love the holidays, as well. They are the culmination of your birthday season.

    Hope this particular autumn day gets off to a wonderful start.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  2. Monica, it’s been too long, my friend. I’m finally coming back from one of the greatest funks I’ve ever been in. Thank goodness since it feels like forever that I joined the land of the living. But more of that in an email to you later! I like the word autumn, I do, but I it’s simply easier to say fall. ha! I love the shots in this post! They really put us in touch with the season and make us think of holidays like Halloween, which I love! Hugs to you, Sir Henry, and little Oliver! Roxy and I have missed you! 🙂

    • Bella, I’ve missed you, too! And le petite Roxy, as well. I hope things are better for you now, and look forward to your email. I’ve missed our correspondence like you wouldn’t believe. It’ll be so wonderful to resume!

  3. You make autumn sound so lovely. As beautiful as autumn appears, it is one of my least favorite, only because it marks such a sudden end to things. Summer rules in my book, hence the upper case “S”, but to all things, there’s a season. So, I have much respect for Autumn…. winter, not so much.

    Happy Autumn to you, Monica. Enjoy the bountiful and beautiful falling leaves and all else that comes with the season.

    • You too, Somer! I love summer, too, but the way I see it, autumn is a time to hunker down and spend time with loved ones. To appreciate what we have. So enjoy it to the fullest, my friend.

  4. Aaah, ’tis a beautiful season – back East. Here in SoCal, except for the decorations we add ourselves, not so much. There’s a double row of maple trees on a boulevard not far from me, whose leaves turn a gorgeous and brilliant crimson… in January.

    Love that song, and the creator of that clip added some stunning pictures. I prefer autumn as well, to everything except remembering the Daylight Savings Thing: “autumn back” doesn’t sound right.

    Happy upcoming birthday, autumn baby.

    • Glad you like the song, too, Beverly. It remains my favorite, along with another popular song of the day, Volare. Re use of fall, you make a good point. “Autumn back” sounds ridiculous. 😉

      Oh and thanks so much for the birthday wishes. My birthday was on the first day of the season, September 23rd.

  5. Pingback: Day 14: Write a few paragraphs about how autumn makes you feel or what it makes you consider. | artsygal13

  6. I, too, simply LOVE Autumn, Monica. It’s that wonderful time of year when Back-to-School happens. And college football kicks in. And the weather moderates, leaving most of us free from the wicked tornadoes of summer and the blizzards of winter. Autumn means new clothes — hoodies and jeans and boots. It means holidays like Turkey-day and Halloween. And my birthday “falls” in September, meaning birthday cake and presents. We’re lucky to be “Autumn babies,” don’t you agree?

  7. I welcome autumn and the renewed energy it brings after our hot summers. Autumn and spring are my favorite seasons. This post reminds me that I’d better go buy a pumpkin!

    • Jayne, don’t you just love pumpkins? What memories they conjure of past autumns. I love how these days you can get all kinds of foods made with pumpkin–pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin soup, etc. but tell me, do you keep your pumpkins whole, or carve them into Jack o’ Lanterns?

  8. I love autumn too, for many of the same reasons you do, plus I’d add the joys of back to school. Autumn always inspires me to want to learn something new, take a new class, create something different. There’s magic in this time of year. Your post is a perfect example of that!

  9. Hard to escape those New York memories that go hand-in-hand with the seasons — and why should you want to? There is something about the subtlety of the colors changing day by day that I love, and, yes, those classic songs — ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘Autumn in New York’ — that embody the touch of melancholy. Speaking of songs, it was ‘The Sounds of Silence’ that came to mind when I wrote the post that I’m delighted to know inspired some of your own thoughts, Miss Autumn. 😉

  10. Love that song!
    For me, autumn is apple season. When I was little, we’d always go to the orchard to pick apples and, as a treat before we hauled our bushels home, we’d have fresh cider and apple cinnamon donuts. Then my parents would spend the rest of the weekend canning apple sauce, apple butter and apple mint jelly. As much as I love chocolate, my favorite dessert is apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.

  11. I love the idea that you share a birthday with autumn! For me autumn is that lovely time when the weather is crisp and the leaves are beautiful. Fall is that awkward stage between autumn and winter when the leaves are gone and it’s all grey and cold but there isn’t snow on the ground to make it pretty and bright again. (often that three weeks you refer to between Thanksgiving and the winter solstice!) Enjoy your lovely autumn (and be grateful your birthday didn’t come two weeks late!)

    • Val, I understand. There’s a lot to be said for summer. But I love the crisp cool autumn weather. I suppose there’s something to be said for all the seasons. They each have a purpose, after all.

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