It's the little things that set one off at this time of the year, maple trees touched with red and gold, morosely drooping sunflower heads, the damp furrows where a garden once bloomed and fruited, fallen oak leaves on the trail touched by frost and crackling wonderfully underfoot in their earthy sepias and delicate rosy creams, the way the light bends and turns and shifts in its seasonal turning.
Lines of swallows congregate and chatter on telephone lines every morning, and we hear the high thin songs of geese passing overhead, the wing beats and plangent cries of departing loons heading for warmer moorings. A single beech tree near home has already turned vivid copper, and its leaves are falling into the street in burnished showers. Is it just me, or is there a restless melancholy spirit loose in the village and haunting the countryside in September?
Far from last month's thoughts of salads and cold drinks, I find myself pondering soups and stews, corn fritters and gingerbread, the first McIntosh apples lovingly folded into a baked crumble with oatmeal, maple syrup and cinnamon. Thoughts about such comfort food are a sure indication of autumn, all by themselves.
Life becomes quieter and quieter here as daylight hours wane, temperatures tumble and migratory kindred leave, and we are drinking everything in like wine. With gloves on our gnarly paws, and collars turned up against the wind, we ramble and ponder and feast our senses on the colors, sounds and fragrances of autumn. Then we come home to tea and toast and ginger snapping cookies at nightfall. It's all good.