“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant
- The hills of southern Tennessee are still mostly green.
According to the calendar, autumn arrived in September. According to the weather in Tennessee, we’ve barely just begun. Up until last week, we’ve had a warm fall with very few dips in the temperature. Last week, the bottom fell out, and we had our first freeze. Since then, the leaves have finally started to turn.
As October nears its end, I’m longing for as much fall as I can get. I’m ready for cooler temperatures, pots of soup, a light jacket and a pair of jeans. Before winter comes knocking, I want to relish what’s left of this season. What is it about the smell of leaves that have given up and fallen to the earth? And the sound of crickets chirping…a sound completely unlike the chirp of summer creatures…what makes that sound so musical and unique?
And the colors, some vibrant, others mellow and warm…each beautiful in its own way. There will be the first fire in the fireplace on a cold night, and the whisper of the north wind telling you to soak in the sun before she steals it away until spring. Each moment will remind us that fall is so very short…it’s only a snapshot really. Just a moment of celebration before the earth’s hibernation. Just a glimpse of glory before a long restful sleep.
The leaves waved goodbye to me today as I walked in the crisp, autumn air. Dry and weak, some waved from their branches telling me so long. Others held on with a burst of color, but even they have so little time left. Fall can be beautiful, but still, it can be melancholy. I’ll miss the color, the thickness covering the tree limbs. I’ll miss the leaves that whisper in the wind as I walk.
Tennessee brings beauty during every season, so even as the leaves whisper goodbye, there’s a promise of what yet is to come. Spring will return. New leaves will grow and the trees will be full again. I look forward to that day, but for now, goodbye pretty little ones.
Whispering clouds settled into the valley’s of the autumn flanked hills. Even backed by a sky of gray, warm yellows and blistering oranges dotted the hillsides. Stepping across the curving slopes, wispy tails of clouds left their marks, settling low to the ground and so far away from their homes. The sky reached down and touched the earth this morning, blending the two into one. There was no separation of space, no line marking where one began and the other ended. For awhile, on a rainy, autumn morning, nature meshed leaving clouds among us.