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Ode to Autumn

Text by: Christine Pethel

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
-Albert Camus
She says goodbye to Summer's heat,
And ushers in the Winter's cold.
But she herself is the calming warmth
Nestled deep within the folds.

She bids adieu to long ago
And offers a myriad of new.
Her colors mimic Spring's soft pallet
But in darker, much cozier hues.

Her spells of magic conjure enchantments
A mysterious concoction of fear
With tricks and treats, and an assortment of eats,
The bewitching hour is near.

Through the brush of a breeze or the light of the moon
There's crispness in the air.
Sweaters and cider and pumpkins of all sizes,
Autumn is finally here.
© Felicity Photography
This time of year marks a dramatic change of seasons. With the ushering in of cooler weather as a respite from Summer's heat, Fall is welcomed in with open arms by many without even skipping a beat. With the Autumnal Equinox in mid-September making the daylight shorter and the nighttime longer, there is a sense of… well, a sense of what?

There is a mesmerizing feeling of mystery and intrigue, yet an equally beguiling mood of warmth and comfort. For those who normally balk at any type of change, this season is a time when change is effortlessly greeted. From the change of the beautiful assortment of reds, greens, browns, yellows, and oranges on the trees, to switching out summer clothes to winter, to looking forward to the thrill of a new school year— a new teacher, new clothes, new supplies, a new backpack, and a new haircut.

© Jessica Ceason Photography

Then comes the month of October; when pumpkins, witches, and ghouls begin adorning walls, porches, and doors—where a chilling atmosphere begins to emerge. Have you ever wondered when the spookiness and haunting beliefs behind Halloween began? Although there are numerous explanations to be found (try a Google search), it is often explained that it all began with the traditional pre-Christian Celtic belief that on October 31st the veil to another world is thinnest, thus giving us a better chance to see and hear other world spirits. Whatever the true roots of this annual tradition may be, the celebration of Halloween was born… and nights filled with playful mischief, menace, and mayhem are celebrated throughout many parts of the world. Nights that are spooky. And frightening. And eerie. To some, the perfect setting for Fall.

The Fall is a magical season to me personally, even more so than the magic many others feel during the time of Christmas. There are things that comfort me, warm me to the core, and stir excitement in my soul. This is a season when I absorb all that is around me, to try and enjoy the slower pace before I am launched into the busy-ness of winter and the Christmas season.

What is it that makes Fall magical to you? You can find my list of absolute favorites below. Would you add anything more?

© Blake Werner Photography, Jessica Ceason Photography, Felicity Photography
Fall Leaves—Red, Orange, Yellow, and Brown
Hot Chocolate, Hot Wassail, and Hot Apple Cider
Thick, Warm Wool Sweaters
Afghan Blankets
Sipping hot drinks by the fire out of stone mugs, while dressed in thick warm sweaters and my grandmother's giant Afghan blanket
Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins…
Pumpkin Pies, Pancakes, Waffles, Cheesecake, Cupcakes, Lattes, Oatmeal, Muffins, Soup
Pumpkin Patches
Big Pumpkins, Small Pumpkins, Orange Pumpkins, White Pumpkins
Corn Mazes
Multicolored Gourds
Pumpkin Carving
Black Cats
Costume Shopping
Cold Nights, Brisk Days
Freshly Sharpened Pencils
School Clothes
First Day School Outfits
Cracking the Spine of a New Book
Old Classic Movies
New Seasons of Television
Sports Teams
High School Football on a Cold Friday night
The Cheerleaders shouting and the School Band playing Louie, Louie
Football, Wrestling, Cheerleading, Drama and Musical Tryouts
Cinnamon and Apple
Pumpkin Spice Candles
Cranberry Apple Candles
Crisp Scents in the Air
Fire pits
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Tornadoes of Yellow and Orange Leaves
Piles of Dried, Fallen Leaves
Raking, Crunching, and Jumping in Piles of Dried, Fallen Leaves
Thanksgiving Feasts
Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, and Yams
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Flannel Sheets
Snuggling My Children's Warm Bodies
Kissing their Cold Foreheads Good Night