Everyone seems to have a favorite season. For some it is the snow filled chill of Winter and warmth of the holiday season, others revel in the blooming wonders and gamboling lambs of Spring. Of course Summer, with its lazy hot days of freedom, is the universal favorite of children everywhere. But Autumn has always been my favorite time of year.
One of the first things that announce this season is the weather. The days are still warm, yet the nights are getting crisply comfortable for sleeping under a down comforter. Here in Virginia, where Spring means high pollen counts and HEPA filters, Summer requires AC, and Winter, heat for comfort; that means I can finally open all the windows and shut off the HVAC. The shortening days and cooler nights also bring relief to the woolly sheep and inspire the ram to look for love.
Autumn also has that luminous quality of light caused by the sun sitting lower in the sky. It inspires me to create in glass, fiber, or paint - with a beautiful palette of sunset colors. As I type this from the rocker on our porch in late afternoon, I can look up to watch yellow poplar leaves slowly spiraling down from the trees, glowing rosy amber in the magical light, like jewels from the heavens.
But it's more than just the weather that appeals. This is the season of the Harvest. Viticulturists check the brix of their pendant spherical beauties daily, sometimes hourly, in order to pluck them at the peak of sweetness for that delicious transformation to wine. The gardens and orchards are also gleaned of the remains of maturing bounty then cleared in preparation for Winter's slumber. A few cool season crops are beginning to bear, garlic is planted and soon, mushroom spores will be set. Fire returns to the hearth. Even now, the setting sun adds a seductive blush to wood smoke drifting low across the pastures, where it is pushed closer to the ground by the approaching cold of evening.
Also wafting out the window on cooling air currents, to where I sit, is the enticing aroma of apple butter baking in the oven. This is arguably the best part of autumn - the FOOD. Canning, preserving, and baking are in full swing. Wine festivals, homecoming tailgates, and church harvest suppers abound. And let's not forget the ultimate in harvest meals - Thanksgiving.
For me, this is what autumn is all about. Friends and family - a time of celebration, cleansing, and reflection. Closure and new beginnings.
The Celts celebrate the the beginning of the new year in autumn - November 1st to be precise. Samhain. In keeping with that tradition, I begin this blog to chronicle life here on the farm and announce that our homestead hobby farm will begin anew as Laingcroft Farm LLC on November 1, 2009. ease join us as we strive for a prosperous new year!
Céad mille fáilte!