Feeling the season

OK. I admit it. I’m a sucker for change. I love autumn (and spring, too). I love seeing, feeling, being a part of the transition from summer to winter. Like everything, it happens gradually, and then quickly. I noticed the first signs of autumn in early September when the very first tulip poplar leaves began to fall.

A tulip poplar leaf on September 7th, 2021

Since then, they have come down faster with each small bit of rain and wind, and we can see more sky through the canopy down by the creek. Summer birds have gone and winter birds are arriving. The sweet potatoes have been harvested and the kale and lettuce is thriving in the cooler fall weather.

This week, autumn’s changes have been dramatic and fast. Leaves of the deciduous trees have turned yellow and red and orange, painting the woods with brilliant colors in the noonday sun. The black cherry trees turned yellow and dropped nearly all their leaves in a matter of a few days. More monarchs emerged and flew south, and our woods down by the creek feel both brighter and more subdued, with fewer leaves on trees, but more padding the forest floor.

Leaves blanket the forest floor…

This time midway between fall equinox and winter solstice feels sacred – a time of finishing up the harvest, feeling gratitude for the abundance of summer, marking the change of seasons by slowing down and giving thanks, and preparing for the stillness of winter to come.

A maple leaf rests beside a sprouting chickweed (which loves the cooler weather)

During the past couple of weeks, I’ve deliberately spent more time walking our land, sitting with the trees and stones and earth, feeling the energy of the wind and the sun, observing, listening, and just being in this space I call home. Doing so has changed me as surely as the colors of the leaves. I am more grounded, more open, more content, happier, more creative, and more aware of my connection to everything.

Greens turning to yellows along the trail…
A mushroom pops up after a brief rainshower…
Quiet times in the woods by the creek
Our baby sassafras is feeling the change…

Sacred. Special. Home.

What signs of autumn are you seeing, feeling, sensing? What makes your place special this time of year?

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