…And Other Random Thoughts About the Season
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.
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.
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.
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?
In closing, I leave you with Nat King Cole’s evocative rendition of The Autumn Leaves. It’s a true classic.