Tomorrow marks the autumnal equinox; day and night will be approximately the same length as the earth’s northern hemisphere begins its journey into fall. Autumn ushers in a host of seasonal references: schoolbooks, football games, Halloween costumes, pecans, cable-knit sweaters, raking leaves, cinnamon spice, garden mums, mashed potatoes. Our memories map these associations with incredible precision. Certain smells, colors, sounds remind us of homecoming dances, fall festivals and family holiday gatherings.
The slant of the afternoon sun in autumn reminds me of the smell of a wood burning fireplace, the softness of flannel pajamas, riding my bike home from girl scout meetings and the heaviness of quilts layered on my bed. There are certain foods I like to prepare in autumn and winter that I seldom prepare during the warmer months such as toasted veggie grinder sandwiches, baked ziti and pear-apple sauce. I also look forward to wearing jeans and blazers and enjoying a Friday evening or two near the fireplace with a glass of wine.
Autumn is a time for lighting candles, replacing placemats with tablecloths and reading a favorite novel (again). It is a time for sharing things you have received or learned from someone else – photographs, recipes, making a wreath, folding a napkin, telling a favorite story, making origami cranes. It is a season of cozy and comfort and the more you share, the more you feel.