Blessed is your gift of Autumn,
which we celebrate now:
The cooling and the clearing,
Swirling, falling leaves of gold and crimson;
Birds on the wing,
And the harvest gratefully gathered in.
These are the words I use when I give thanks for the gifts of Autumn with my prayer beads. I love it when I am actually in the Autumn and giving thanks, probably because it is my favorite time of year.
I admit that there are times (like this year), when I am strangely reluctant to say goodbye to Summer. There seems to be little rhyme or reason why. For all logical reasons, with this being yet another of our ongoing string of hottest Summers ever, you would think I would have been glad to see it end.
But I wasn’t. I am not often melancholy, but there have been quite a few goodbyes lately that I am feeling more deeply than usual. So I have been sorry that the cicadas in the daytime have ceased; I haven’t seen a hummingbird since Oct. 6; and the last rose has come and gone.
Yet since the New Moon last week, I have felt it all shift, and the heaviness of my heart has melted away. At last I am very glad it is Autumn!
Of course, it is still early yet. We are still having days here in North Carolina that are flirting with highs around 90°. That’s about 20° F higher than normal. But though days are still toasty, they are not Summer’s oppressive clinging damp, and the nights are chilly enough to close the windows.
The geese are calling in the early mornings. Despite being a bit ragged due to the drought this Summer, our deciduous trees are still managing to show some color; by next week, they should be quite pretty. And I can feel the magical call of Samhain on its way.
Apples. Orion soaring across the dark skies before daybreak. Mist on the river. Woodsmoke and crunching leaves. Nurseries full of pansies and bulbs for fall planting. The golden slant of the sun in the late afternoon. Owls calling in the night. A deep stirring restlessness and memories of long ago.
Huge, lacy spider webs glistening in the trees. Pumpkins and chrysanthemums decorating front porches everywhere. The nearness of the Ancestors. Pulling out flannel shirts and wool socks. Skies full of migrating birds.
Please share with us — what do you love about Autumn?