My parents, Sid and Jean (Lager) Durham, were married 57 years ago on August 30, 1956. At my wedding on August 31st of this year we paid tribute to them by playing 'their' song at our reception dance. "Their' song is 'Autumn Leaves' by Nat King Cole. We all watched with joy when they took to the dance floor and gathered each other in their arms. As they swayed to the music they quietly sang to each other the words of the song "The falling leaves drift by the window; The Autumn leaves of red and gold. I see your lips, the summer kisses; The sun-burned hands, I used to hold." It was such a romantic moment and made me think of Autumn and the romanticized way I've always thought of this season.
I grew up across the U.S. but mainly in California. There we had little evidence of Autumn though I saw it in magazines, TV, etc. I loved the way people spoke of the season and the way it awakens the senses: the colors of russet, crimson, auburn, khaki, ginger and gold; the smell of earth and bonfires; the feel of your skin in the crisp air; the sound of brittle leaves underfoot; the taste of cider, applesauce and pumpkin pies. How wonderful that all seemed!
Living in Iowa the last 21 years has allowed me to awaken all of those Autumnal senses of my own and every year I relish it. As I write this Autumn is coasting in and I'm trying to soak up each moment. I recently saw a post on Facebook that said, "Hoodies, hot cocoa, boots, jeans, cuddling, crisp air, flushed cheeks. I live for Autumn." To that list I would add baking, pots of chili, pies, soups, curling up in quilts, trips to the orchard, leaf peeping and the honking of geese headed south. Others would add such things as hunting and football. What would you add?
While Autumn heralds the passing of Summer and that Winter will be gliding in next, I especially savor those days of Indian Summer. In the dictionary Indian Summer is considered 'a period of mild, dry weather, usually accompanied by a hazy atmosphere, occurring in late October or early November and following a period of colder weather'. To me Indian Summer is like a reprisal of those lovely days of Summer. Encore!
The harbingers of Autumn's presence are echoed in the farmer's blessed harvest, pumpkins, cornstalks, cooler nights and the preparations of little ghosts and goblins. Don't just let Winter wander in; instead savor every moment of the wafting Autumn in as many ways as you can. Applause for Autumn!