Autumn, Come She Will

Soupy. Steamy. Sweaty. Summer.

It’s all those things right now in upstate New York. Summer blazes on, with little rain and high humidity.

And yet, when I least expect it, when I’m wearing my sun visor and wiping the “dew” off my face, autumn sneaks up on me.

She is quiet, faint, just a hint of a ghost of a wraith but I know she’s there.

She gets close and whispers her cool breath in my ear. I whip my head around, to get a better look, and blush when I find only summer there. I was hoping it was autumn . . .

I’m not the only one autumn makes blush.

Autumn seduces me, energizes me, makes me feel alive. My blood sings and fizzes like champagne when autumn comes to me.

Again, I’m not the only one who is susceptible to her charms; she is profligate with her attentions. She beguiles the geese to start their noisy journey. She provides the nudge that makes the squirrels so intent on hunting and gathering that they forget to look both ways when they cross the road. All living things respond to autumn.

Her invigorating imperative affects people like me, and maybe you, people who live in cooler climates and who love to make things. We feel the impulse to prepare for winter making and to hunker down in our homes.

Because my main locus for taking photos of vintage linens for Etsy is my glassed-in porch and because my glassed-in porch is not winterized and gets REALLY cold in the winter, I will spend autumn busily taking photos, getting things ready while I can.

I also baste quilts at the big table on the glassed-in porch so I will soon be doing this job I loathe so I can do the part I love, hand quilting, all winter.

I want my home to be as clean and fresh as autumn feels. I want the garden to sleep well and come to spring renewed and refreshed. I want to bring the color of the maple trees and late fall sun to handwovens.

Autumn is a demanding mistress, but she’s worth it.

I know she’s coming, autumn is.

I love you, autumn. I’ll be ready for you. Don’t make me wait too long . . .

*This photo makes me think of a wonderful book, C D B!, by William Steig. According to Steig, the full caption for the photo should be “C D B? D B S A BZ B.” Can you crack the code?


55 thoughts on “Autumn, Come She Will

  1. I have a love-hate relationship with autumn. I love the colours, the warmth-yet-briskness in the air. But I can’t forgive it for (a) not being summer (‘Wot summer?’ I hear you cry, if you’re a Brit), and (b) being just before winter, and specifically November, the worst month in the year – apart from its being my daughter’s birth-month. Oh, and yes, I cracked the code.

    • Of course you cracked the code! If you can learn Korean, this one is easy! Is November really the worst month there? Here I would say it’s February. But, in spite of February, I still love autumn.

      • Yes. November is all down hill. Scrawny trees with just a few sad leaves left. Gusty, chilly rain. Days getting even shorter. February however is full of promise. Longer days, shoots emerging from the ground, early blossom. I rather like it.

  2. Autumn in NE Ohio is often the most beautiful season. The hydrangeas are turning color. The little fruits are turning orange and red. The sky seems bluer. But…not yet. I still want to enjoy all the local peaches I can consume before I move on to this year’s apples. Yes, I often think of autumn in terms of food. The first bite of freshly picked apple is like champagne to me.

    • Thanks, Divya! The drop in temperature is one of the things I like best about autumn–I am so sick of being sweaty and sticky! Now, ask me how I feel in January, when the temps are below zero . . .

  3. Beautifully, beautifully said! I love Autumn!! I have been feeling her breath for awhile now telling everyone we will get an early autumn. We are having one last sizzle of summer today and then she’s away. Yay! I’m with you on preparing for the winter of fun indoor projects. Autumn is my favorite time of year.

  4. In some ways I love Autumn, the brisk air with a faint smell of wood smoke, the leaves changing colors,apple cider and pumpkin pie… But Spring is my favorite time of year with everything coming alive from winter harshness. Enjoyed the code that needed to be broke!

    • I am pretty ambivalent about Spring–so much of it, here, is just unattractive and muddy and icky. Then, it seems, we jump straight to summer. I’m glad you liked the code!

      • I think that is why I’m not as fond of autumn here … We won’t see cooler temps until the first of Nov. Frost maybe by the end of that month by then the trees leaves are just brown and annual plants are already dead. It’s not pretty like up your way. In spring we don’t have all the icky mess that comes from snow . The south is best in spring

  5. The temps are cooling down in Northern California, but we don’t get the beautiful color change like the East Coast. Though I’m sure the humidity can get uncomfortable. Beautiful pictures and here’s wishing you a great weekend.

    • I would miss the color change terribly if I moved away from here. It is just such an amazing time of year. Thanks for visiting–you have a nice weekend, too!

  6. Beautifully told. And lest we not forget, autumn will bring those cooler temperatures which will allow the candy making process to begin. Hurrah!

  7. My favourite seasons are Spring and Autumn. [I capitalise them for they are personalities to me.]
    Unusually for an American you call her ‘Autumn’ not ‘Fall’ – I am curious, is it a regional thing? I respond pretty much the same way to Autumn as you do – I close everything up, make it cosy, I look forward to the quieter activities undertaken during bleak days and long evenings …….. However, it’s not Autumn here just now 🙂 Isn’t it interesting how they are both seasons of preparation while, for me, the other two are seasons of being [and in some cases ‘getting through’ 🙂 ] I am about to commit to my annual Spring Change-up. The time when the house gets cleaned from top to toe, opened up, moved about and the tiny garden too gets its annual clean up and plant out………. When my birthday arrives in early September we are good to go and the year has turned! The daffodils are just opening here, Siddy is waiting on them too – he checks his bank on our daily walk waiting for the days when he can smell and run through the flowers with a big smile on his face. Right now I love Spring best ❤

    • I can see why you’re loving Spring right now! I love your point about Spring and Autumn being preparation times vs. summer and winter–I feel exactly the same way! And regarding Autumn or Fall– I think I used to always say Fall but then, when I started blogging, I learned that that’s an American thing and the rest of the world says Autumn. Now I try and write using the word everyone understands the same way.

  8. Ack! Girl! Don’t rush it!!! Think what comes after!!! Ugh. And winter is supposed to be horrible this year, like 1996. Ugh! Savor the last bit of summer. Then I’ll savor Autumn with you!!!

    • Oh, my! You really have a winter aversion! I get tired of winter part ways through but I don’t hate it. I’d rather be too cold than too hot and I have been too hot too often this summer! I guess it’s just as well you live in Virginia and I live in New York, and not vice versa!

  9. We have guests (aka gardening harvesting and canning slaves) here in WV for the weekend. As they do not wake up at 5 a.m. as we farm-sorts do, I have taken my first cup of coffee and the dogs out on the deck. It is cool enough for a fleece right now. By mid-day, it should be in the high-80’s or maybe peak above 90F. I expect at least a 2 T-shirt day from the humidity.

    I too amy looking at Autumn tasks: a final weeding of the gardens, deadheading and distributing seeds from flowers, raking leaves, pulling up spent vegetables, building the compost pile, cleaning the wood stove flues and replacing the gaskets on the door, etc. The wood for winter is stacked and ready for the cold Nor-Easter’s the that Alamac has predicted.

    • Yes, there are so many chores to get ready for winter–kind of comforting to know that we are doing many of the same sorts of preparations that our forbears did. The cycle of the year, the circle of life . . . .

  10. I am not sure why we ditched the word Fall in favour of Autumn. Fall is much easier to spell and to say. Meaning I doubt ‘Fall’ was an American invention. It probably went from England with the early settlers.???? But whatever we name it, it is still a beautiful season. I am glad she is on her way to gather you up in her loveliness.

  11. This is beautiful, evocative writing Kerry! I love summer even the really hot days we get now and again. Quite often our summers are cool and wet and/or cloudy and when autumn arrives I feel really let down. This summer we have had quite a lot of warm and sunny weather but I’m still loathe to say goodbye to it. I love being warm and don’t want the cold wet weather to come back.

  12. Kerry, you have such a wonderful way to expressing yourself, whether through all your handwork or your words. This is an excellent essay about my favorite season.

  13. What a lovely post! Some of the most beautiful poetry is written about fall and deservedly so. But – it is my least favorite season only because it is the end of summer. This barefoot girl confesses to looking forward to cooler weather, however. The heat this summer has made my hand-quilting take a back seat, and I miss it tremendously. Let’s just say I have more than a few tops to stitch this winter, hot tea by my side.

    • Thanks, Pam! I do understand that an awful lot of people lament the arrival of fall, is spite of my love of it. And, yes, to the hand quilting–I have been waiting to get to work on that, too! It’s one of my favorite mid-winter/wind’s a howling’/snow’s a blown’ pastimes!

  14. Autumn, come she will… Simon & Garfunkel, right? I started humming the tune the minute I read your title. Lovely song. I am most fond of the transition seasons, Spring & Fall. Fall is not so Fallish down here, but we do get color and live near enough to the mountains to get apples and grapes, (though peaches are available through September). I’m thinking of canning spiced peach halves and I think I need some more peach jam and pickles! Looking forward to Fall decor – changing the candles on the mantle and finding Indian corn and (pretty soon!) gettting out witches and black cats. And I have a quilt to finish hand quilting this Winter too!

    • You know your Simon and Garfunkel (although the song was April, Come She Will)! I am with you 100% about the transition seasons, although I think we have the better Fall here and you have the better Spring there. I have quilt that needs to be completely hand quilted this winter, if I ever get it basted . . .

  15. Pingback: Autumn on My Mind – Gardening Nirvana

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