Taking Up Autumn

They tell me the daytime hours and the nighttime hours are almost of the same duration on the day of the Autumn equinox, when our spinning globe, because of its slight tilt at the axis, waves in a new season. Now end the days of summer here in the northern hemisphere and we begin our steady approach toward winter. But today! it is fall . . . perhaps my favorite season. (Except that winter stuns me with its beauty, and spring bursting the earth in resurrection is astounding, and then there’s that languid warmth of summer and the lake and the birds . . . )

The ground over which I walk is familiar, and yet strange, for its paths now have lost the warmth of yesterday and my shoes must be of heavy sole to push against the fallen sticks and the acorns which fall from the oaks in abundance here in the San Bernardino mountains. Day and night we hear them–Jerry and I–as they lose their grip on their limbs, and a couple of times Jerry has been thumped, and once last week he said, “I would sit on the front deck with my coffee, but I’m afraid for my head,” for a breeze had struck through the trees. untitled (4 of 6)We drive our car over the long driveway to the sound of snare and the click of fine drum sticks. Jerry sweeps the deck and the driveway and sometimes blows the acorns down into piles where the driveway meets Wabern Court, and then he scoops them up with a shovel and ties up the heavy yard bag into which he has thrust them. I’m always wishing we could come up with a plan that would enable us to sell them by the gunny sack full, (but everyone around here has so many), or market acorn butter or wood floors for cabins. Something like that, but so far: Nothing. Except that years ago when my grandchildren were small and were up here visiting, I let them go to the neighbors and sell our exceptional acorns that look like little people wearing woody hats. “You can’t charge more than a nickle,” I instructed, as they stuffed them into plastic bags, and they came back grinning with quarters in their fists.

When I arose yesterday–the first day of fall–I peered at the thermometer which hangs outside my kitchen window and it read 43 degrees, a drastic drop from a few days before, as though the weather understood that the calendar had declared summer had ended. Our house is amazingly well-insulated, so it was not actually cold in here–67 degrees, I believe, but after he had been up for awhile Jerry said, “Want a fire?” untitled (1 of 10)And so the first fire of the season was laid and lighted, and as is my custom I gazed, entranced, into its flames and saw figures and dreams and had visions.

I’ve put away flimsy summery things, and last night before I went to bed, I removed the pink Chenille bedspread from the downstairs guest bed and replaced it with a much heavier covering, plus I’ve scrambled around in my cupboards exchanging out dishes. untitled (2 of 6)Now there probably is no such thing as fall and summer dishes, but during these days of early fall when I think of pumpkins and Indian corn, I get this urge to bring out my pottery, and to rub polish cloths against my copper pieces.

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Jerry and I will be taking our morning walk in a few minutes. It’s been awhile since we ventured into the woods at the end of Wabern Drive, but today–already I can tell–the intrigue of that curving path aflutter with weeds and leaves and the marks of little creatures just may lure me into its ways.

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4 thoughts on “Taking Up Autumn

  1. Brenda G

    Today, I walked on the beach and gathered a few shells and rocks. But I was wishing for acorns also, and wondering where I could get some real ones, not ones from a craft store! Someone gave me a cute idea to make cookie acorns, but I doubt if many of our IB (Imperial Beach) children even know what an acorn is. Perhaps you’d like to have your grandkids make the cookie acorns. Use a mini nutter butter for the hat, an unwrapped Hershey kiss for the acorn, and top the cookie with a chocolate chip. Use peanut butter to “glue” it together. They look so cute, wish I could show u the pic!

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  2. Jean Walter

    I picked up some acorns in Eagle River, Upper Peninsula, Michigan last week, and packed them away in my suitcase last week. Now I need to display them along with some tiny pine cones I also gathered. I love the fall air! briskness!

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  3. Heidi

    Sis. Buxton, I love your writing! Thank you for the glimpse in your home. I too love special dishes etc. I finally pulled out the fall decor for my home and hoped for a change in the temperature. I did happen too! 🙂
    Keep writing…..you are a blessing!

    Heidi, thank you for the sweet comments. I do appreciate your reading my things . . . and especially love it that you took the time to comment. Onward with the fall decorating. I’ll be doing some myself today.

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