Return to fall

Spring is epitomized as the season of renewal, yet I feel more energized during fall than I do during any other time of the year. On Sept. 22, at 10:29 p.m. EDT (if you want to get as technically specific as The Farmer’s Almanac), the autumnal equinox quietly heralded the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere.

8-20 Page 4A.inddMy friends, fall is here, and I am elated.

Fall has been my favorite season since childhood — which is somewhat odd in that we never had a true autumn in Miami. Typically it was December before the humidity and temperatures dropped enough to warrant wearing the lightest of jackets or sweaters. Since making my home in South Carolina, I’ve had the great fortune of being able to enjoy fall for the last 16 years (Holy cow it’s been a long time!) and the magic of the season never ceases to fill me with wonder.

Being an October baby, I can’t help but wonder if somehow my entrance into the world during autumn cosmically connected me to the universe. After all, fall is the time of year when I celebrate my life and existence. My birth and yearly rebirth. However, if this were the only thing I liked about the season, I would be egocentric, and that simply isn’t who I am.

I love fall because of the change in temperature. Crisp, chilly days under the warm glow of a harvest sun trump the oppressive, scorching heat of summer any day of the week. There is a certain comfort in cozy jeans and snuggly sweaters. A soft scarf wrapped loosely about my neck and shoulders feels like an old friend’s hug all day long.

In my home, fall is synonymous with big pots of soups and stews simmering on the stove — the earthy scents of rosemary and thyme wafting through the front door every time it’s opened. Even more delightful are the aromas of cloves and nutmeg coming from a loaf of pumpkin bread baking in the oven.

My morning coffee tastes better in the morning when I step out on the back deck in the darkness, the sound of paper-like leaves rustling in the darkness as a cool breeze twirls about the branches, and in the remaining moonlight, I can see the spiral of steam looping up from the cup like a mystical ballet dancer floating through a pirouette.

During fall I am reminded of just how magnificent a creator God is when trees appear to be on fire with garnets and oranges, coppers and golden-toned leaves — each with a unique color palate all their own. Produce stands advertise cornucopias of pumpkins and squash in endless varieties of shape and corpulence. Bushels of shiny apples promising that each bite is both juicy and crunchy in the perfect harmony of texture and taste.

Autumn is simply spectacular. Perfect for spending the evening around a campfire sharing stores with family or enjoying a candlelit conversation on the front porch snuggled next to someone you love.

However you choose to celebrate the little moments that make life amazing, here’s wishing you a fabulous fall.