“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot
Autumn or Fall, the only season so wonderful it demands two names, never lasts long enough for me. In West Virginia, we savor it for four months, (late) August to November. I cling to it like a favorite friend. My mom’s favorite season, too, so we’ve passed our love on to the next generation. Nostalgia creeps in with each cool breeze.
- Roasting marshmallows around a Wheeling Creek campfire
- Woodsdale, Wheeling and Oglebay parks, all carpeted with fall’s fallen leaves, like fragrant jewels
- Our childhood Halloween pumpkin–small candle flames inside smiling jack-o-lantern–Dad’s extra set of dentures inserted for effect
- Fresh apple pie with cinnamon spice, and the first sour dough buckwheat cakes steaming on the griddle
Still today, I search for the earliest signs:
- The sky seems to dim
- The horizon broadens, the views expand with the loss of leaves
- Sunsets arrive much earlier
- Shadows lengthen across the yard
We are so blessed to live where there are four distinct seasons. Years ago I was asked to submit a poem for a new writing project (Thanks, Ted Webb). All accepted poetry was to be printed and posted, each on display inside one of the city buses, just above the windows. “A Season for All” made the cut, and made the rounds, and was I ever delighted to see my own words like advertisements, giving the passengers something to read along their commutes.
A Season for All
Spring arrives like a forgotten friend, who skips across the yard
Dropping seeds from her basket.
She plants her feet in the green meadow, renews budding acquaintances.
She swiftly moves on to more pressing appointments. “Sorry, can’t stay.”
Summer saunters in like a house guest in no hurry to leave.
Fans and air conditioners hum against her extreme nature.
She finally makes her way towards the door.
Her mildew lingers long past her departure, and a distant voice reminds us, “She’ll be back.”
Fall drops in like a favorite uncle, filled with colorful stories and bonfires.
He comes bearing a cool breeze, a quiet shadow, and fragrant leaves he sprinkles beneath the trees.
He wears his school colors to the football games.
As he departs, his essence bequeaths an earthy scent.
Winter spreads her blanket on the frosty hills.
Ices over creeks and rivers, and bites the hands that she freezes.
She pounds the planet as we dream of far-off places with sand and sun.
Others go mad, and given half a chance, would move to Venus, where there is no snow.
Happy Fall, Y’all!