Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox. This is one of my favorite days of the year. I love fall. (Alas, the photos are Clip Art, not mine.)

For me, Autumn is the start of the new academic year, therefore a fresh start for students and teachers. It is the beginning of the season of golden light that many artists so adore (as in this painting), and of the riotous color of the changing leaves. There is a particular tree on the hillside I can see as I drive down into my neighborhood that is a glorious deciduous among mostly valley oaks (which don't color so vibrantly) and evergreens. I look forward to when it will soon be like a lick of flame waving to me as I go by.

Last year Valerie, Andrew, and I hosted an Autumnal Equinox Tea Party for some dear neighbors. (We pretty much go for a party at the drop of a hat around here.) We served hot tea, and yummies from Trader Joe's. Too bad I didn't have the forethought to make sure our ice cube trays were full (they weren't), as the weather was in the 80s that day and a couple of the guests requested iced tea. I always imagine fall to be cool, though I should be used to our yearly Indian summer by now. How it is typically hot on Halloween (better not dress those kids in any kind of fleecy suits), and maybe even into Thanksgiving.

But for me, Autumn is also a state of mind. Time to think about getting cozy with: Sweaters. Corduroy pants. Pretty scarves. Quilts. Crocheted afghans. Cups of coffee, cocoa, spiced cider, tea. And also cozying up with Tom and the kids in the evenings, as the sun sets earlier.

So, today I will put the fall wreath on the front door and adorn the living room with leafy garlands. Well, that'll be my goal, assuming I can get the room kind of tidy first. And I'll take the kids out to celebrate after we pick Valerie up from school. I'm thinking maple bars...ooooh, Happy Autumnal Equinox!


  1. Hi Sara, I look forward to Autumn too; after the intense heat of summer here in Redding. Today is Charlottes first birthday and change just seems to be in the air. She is expressing herself like never before. We went on a vacation to visit her grand father in Hawaii this past week and all of the new people and places really stimulated her growth. She enjoyed playing in the Pacific; rolling with the waves and watching them crash up on the shore. We are back home and I see that the leaves have began to turn and the wind is blowing cooler. Feels like a new season is coming. Take care.

  2. oh yes! "Autumn is a state of mind." That is so very true Sara! I find myself quieter today, moving a little slowly-- ready to stay wrapped in jammies and ready to get out our fleece jackets (even though it was 72!)....We're off for a late afternoon hike to see if we can nab some of the first fallen leaves (the cool nights, and a recent rain are beginning to bring forth the colors:))...and then, as a farewell to summer, we're heading to the beach for a lakeside picnic. It's getting too cold to swim, but we'll likely take a dip, because in the north, you just never know how long our Indian summers will last!

  3. Oh, I love cozy Autumn. There are a couple of haunting songs that come to mind.
    Like "Autumn" from "Starting Here Starting Now"...
    Autumn, it feels like Autumn
    Although the breeze is still
    I feel the chill of Autumn
    Oh, yes, it's Autumn
    It's always Autumn
    However green the hill
    To me it still is Autumn
    I can feel the frost now
    That makes my Spring and Summer dreams
    Seem lost now
    Why can't the Autumn haze
    Recall the days of warm summer laughter?
    That faded soon after in the Autumn
    He left in Autumn
    And though another season's here
    I feel the emptiness of Autumn
    All the year...

    Sad, I know. But the song is beautiful.

    And then, of course, the Nat King Cole Song
    (by Johnny Mercer, I believe)
    "Autumn Leaves"

    The falling leaves drift by my window
    The falling leaves of red and gold
    I see your lips, the summer kisses
    The sunburned hands I used to hold

    Since you went away the days grow long
    And soon I'll hear old winter's song
    But I miss you most of all, my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall

    Since you went away the days grow long
    And soon I'll hear old winter's song
    But I miss you most of all, my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall

    I miss you most of all, my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall

    So, although sadly melancholy, I love these songs, and had to share. If you get a moment, have a listen. I personally think of fall as a transitional gift! I love, and can't wait to take Dash to find some leaves to jump in!
    Lots of love to your family!

  4. Wow I didn't know I needed special decorations. Don't tell my Mom she'll think I never listen to her.