There’s something about autumn in New England that truly speaks to me. As such, it’s one of my favorite seasons of the year. Similar to a nocturnal animal that creeps quietly into the night, it arrives unsuspectingly and without notice, no fanfare or announcements made. Before you know it, autumn swoops down with its burst of cool, crisp air that invigorates your being and cleanses the soul.
Autumn is a time of preparation and regeneration; it is also a time when the celestial clock compels us to conform to the unavoidable laws of nature, willingly or not. The days grow shorter; activity slows down. Deciduous trees shed their leaves in a vivid display of color composed of red, green, gold, orange and brown. Dried leaves crunch under foot, and the aroma of a wood pile burning in an open field wafts about. Outside, wild animals begin the process of hibernation and plants slowly become dormant. There is a distinct feel in the air; it is almost as if I were riding the Jet-Stream as it ushers arctic air from north to south. It feels cool, but not cold; it is refreshing, but not intoxicating.
Apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, hayrides, and pie-eating contests are all but a prelude to the ghosts and goblins soon to descend upon sleepy New England cities and towns. Not long after the passing of “All Hallows Eve” we’ll be sitting at a table with loved-ones and friends, giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. That annual ritual will be followed by the celebration of the yuletide, as the landscape, like clockwork, transforms to a blanket of pure white snow and ice crystals.
Although the arrival of the fall season signals the conclusion of summer, I hold no regrets about this change. To me, it represents a new beginning. It’s a time to consider not what is or what has been, but what could be. And with that, I welcome autumn with a strong sense of optimism. It is a humble optimism, one rooted in knowing that the best is yet to come; and for that I am eternally grateful.