Autumn is in the air. And I love it!
There is a nip in the early morning air and a frequent blanket of fog in the low spots as the sun lifts its head lazily above the horizon. Families of white tail deer are a bit more visible in the hesitant dawn as the fields are relieved of their burdens of corn and soybeans.
Evenings are a bit cooler and the sun sets a bit earlier. Pots of chili or soup begin slowly to take the place of grilled fare and salads and fresh vegetables on the supper table. The intensely orange glow of the sunset rivals the first bursts of color from the morning before.
Acorns -- and lots of them -- from the large Oak tree just outside our door fill the air with popping and bouncing sounds as they shower the roof and cars and all things underneath. They crack and pop beneath your feet as you walk toward the drive. And you know that if this is any indication of this year's acorn harvest, the deer of the woods will be content to stay within the shelter of the forest dining on these natural delicacies.
At home, preparations are being made for trapping season and hunting season and all the seasons ushered in by October. Before long, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us -- the greens of summer replaced by nature's brilliance and the colors of the holiday seasons. Eventually -- too soon for my taste -- the scenery will turn to grey and winter will be upon us. Then we'll be looking straight into the face of 2012.
Fall has become a time of contemplation for me. It summons up memories of younger days; memories of families gathered and renewed memories of those who have passed on to await the gathering of a future reunion. It also reminds me of more recent days spent with my own immediate family -- days when we were the only ones close enough to share holidays with and days when we invited others who had no place to go for a holiday meal to share our bounty and home.
I know autumn holds different meanings for different people, but to me it means home.
I've often heard the term "the autumn of life" and wondered just what was meant by the phrase. Recent events have made me wonder if I, at last, have entered into that magical, mystical time. If so, I wonder if this "season of life" will be as exhilarating to me as the annual onset of autumn has become.
I hope so.