Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall in the Northwest

Among all seasons, Fall is my favorite.

Having lived in Florida almost exclusively until I was 47, I grew up feeling somewhat deprived of all the seasonal changes I read about in my "Dick and Jane" primers, and even yearned for the cold, blustery, bone-chilling winters of Laura Ingalls in "Little House on the Prairie." In Florida, there are really only two seasons: summer and not-quite-summer. Let the thermometer drop below 70, and I was pulling out sweaters, wool skirts, and whatever could serve as a coat. I wanted cold!

I did spend one fall in Portsmouth, VA when I was 17, but was really not aware of the beauty of the season. I'm sure it must be lovely there in the fall, but I have no memory of it. And I spent another fall in Indianapolis in 1991, where I reveled in the beauty of the season, the chill in the air, the smells of woodsmoke. But when I moved to Portland in 1994, I truly soaked in the marvelous colors that grace our landscape as the weather begins to change.

I especially love to be on a winding mountain road this time of year, when the oaks, maples, and birches show off their glorious colors against a backdrop of graceful fir and pine trees. I love to watch the birds coming to our feeders and birdbath in search of food and drink - and a quick bath in the late afternoon. I love to watch the squirrels frantically digging places to hide their treasured food, knowing that they will only find it again by sheer luck; but knowing, too, that I will replenish their feeders during the fall and winter months, so they won't suffer hardship.

I love the way the sunlight comes through the trees in the afternoon; that's usually the first sign for me that the season is changing, and I always feel a thrill of anticipation when I first notice it. I love my quiet evenings with Jim in the family room, basking in the warmth of our woodstove and the joy of each other's company. I even like to cook in the fall - a big concession for me! I love the smells of pots of vegetables and beef, or Great Northern beans, and I enjoy the fragrance and taste of freshly-made applesauce.

Right now, as I sit in Ben & Briana's living room, I can see the tall trees swaying in the wind, their leaves sailing across the sky like small boats being tossed to and fro. I can see birds battling the currents of air as they seek a place to land and shelter from the rain that will be arriving soon.

There's something satisfying to me about this beautiful place I live as all of its inhabitants prepare themselves for the fallow season.

I love Fall best of all!

1 comment:

  1. I've often said I wouldn't miss seasonal changes if I moved to another climate but that isn't true. I would miss fall. The crisp air, sapphire blue sky, dry-dying smell of plants and, of course, the leaf colors make it the best season. Add apples, pumpkins and sweatshirts and it beats the other 3 seasons hands down!

    Your descriptions are wonderful to read, Cheryle!