Our walk is a delightful morning ritual for the dogs and for myself. They get to catch up on all the nightly news by sniffing every leaf and blade of grass, and I get to listen to what Mother Nature has to day about the new day. This morning, she said, “You might want to get back inside where it’s warm. It’s cold and wet out here.”
Not that I mind cold and wet so much. It is par for the course in Kansas in the Fall, and it is Fall. Despite the fact that the solstice is still weeks away, the leaves are all green, and we’re due for summer-like temperatures later in the week. Today I snuggled into a long-sleeved sweater and layered on a quilted vest on top. That makes it officially Fall, at least in my heart.
You might have guessed that I love Fall. Fall is filled with pumpkins, cornstalks, and colorful mums. The trees get dressed up in reds, golds and russet orange. A freshening wind blows surrounds us in a blizzard of fluttering leaves. Cooling temperatures speak of picking apples and making warm, cinnamon-filled apple crisp, stirring up hearty chilis and soul-satisfying stews.
My birthday sneaks in there along about the start of October, shared by my son-in-law, with joint celebration. Then Halloween arrives after several months of anticipation during which our grandchildren vacillate back and forth between delightful possibilities.
“Mima,” says Eden, dark brown eyes framed with long, black eyelashes, serious in his cherubic face. “Should I be a dinosaur or a transformer?”
After deep consideration I say, ”I don’t know, which would you like to be?”
His face lights up in a grin. “How 'bout I be both?”
The big night arrives and the grandchildren are beside themselves with excitement about their costumes. Their imaginations are in overdrive as they get to be anyone they want for one special evening. Then the big event, trick-or-treating. Racing in an excited pack from house to house. They run to ring the doorbell, sing out a happy shout of, “Trick or treat!” and hold out their bags in expectation of candy. Smiling neighbors answer the summons and exclaim over the princesses, ghosties and dino-transformers at their door.
As if all that weren’t enough to make the Fall season glorious, Thanksgiving makes its abundant entrance. Family and friends gather to share the giving of thanks, loving companionship, humorous banter, games and way too much food. Roast turkey, sweet squash, buttery mashed potatoes holding a pool of gravy redolent with sage, crisp topped stuffing, ruby red cranberry sauce and the best for last, pie. Oh my! Pumpkin, chocolate cream, mince, lemon meringue, pecan chocolate chip, all topped with mountains of whipped cream.
OK, I might have gotten a little carried away with my culinary memories of Thanksgiving largesse. It’s all part of the mystique of Fall in my heart… and tastebuds. That’s OK, because this year, Fall of 2020, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to all that brings joy into our hearts, allowing ourselves to relax into the comforts of ritual and Fall celebration.
Life is full of spiritual lessons. Some feel good, some not so good. All support us to grow. This blog is about my life lessons. Perhaps you'll find yourself within these stories.