I watch the geese at this time of year, the time of year when they know what they should be doing and the direction they should be heading. And, in spite of responding to an internal imperative to fly south, they seem, on many days, to be heading north.
I can identify. I, too, know what I should be doing and the directions I should be heading and, yet, I can’t seem to figure out if I’m coming or going.
I should be making candy. It’s the beginning of candy season and I have ideas for sweet new concoctions. I should be making those goodies, taking photos of them, and preparing them for sale.
I should be ironing linens. I’ve lucked into many new caches of vintage wonderfulness lately—some beautiful pieces in lovely condition. This is the time of year people look to buy pretty things for their holiday tables and for gifts. I should be ironing.
I should be cutting back perennials. And raking leaves. And putting the geraniums to bed.
I should be writing substantive, deep, and thought-provoking blog posts instead of just posting photos as I have mostly been doing lately.
I should be doing some deep house cleaning (have you seen my shower?)
I should be winding warp because no weaving can occur without a warp to weave into. I should baste a quilt because no quilting can occur without basting first.
So much I should be doing . . .
But all I want to do is travel the byways of upstate New York, immersing myself in the wonders of the season, enjoying autumn.
We drove across New York this past weekend and went through the Adirondacks. Already, two weeks before the date we associate with peak color, we saw trees a-blazing. We saw fall everywhere we looked.
We were driving with a focus, we had places to go, so I just tried to gather as many impressions as I could. My impressions began with the awareness that everything is happening early this year—the people who take the leaf-peeper tours on Columbus Day weekend are going to miss the show, I’m afraid!
I also had the impression that the reds that make this region so spectacular, especially from the maples, are particularly bright and splashy this year. This isn’t a one-dimensional red but ranges from burgundy to flame red to cerise. Some leaves are streaked with stripes of red and green. Add the bright sun and the breeze rustling the leaves and you’ll get one million shades of red. This is what’s meant by the phrase “eye dazzling”!
I had the impression that this, this autumn, is the perfect autumn. The days are “black and blue”—moments of bright and sunny skies, broken in arresting ways by big dark clouds that add drama.
Enough with impressions.
I need to go out and move slowly, and savor this perfect autumn.
I want the smell of wood smoke and the smell of the sun on fallen pine needles.
I want the taste of cake donuts, made with apple cider and covered with cinnamon sugar.
I want the sound of the crunch of leaves as I shuffle through them and the sound of those silly geese, honking their heads off.
I want to feel the warm sun on my shoulders, leavened by a crisp breeze on my face.
Most of all, I need the sights of autumn. The sky the color we call “Adirondack blue.” The leaves putting on a show I can only seem to find trite descriptors for, a show that really does defy description. And the reflection of those colors, softer, moodier, muted, in every pond and stream.
This season, this moment, can’t be postponed. Autumn, the season, may last until December but the essence of fall in the North Country is ever so fleeting.
So, I say to hell with those things I should be doing. This time, the “shoulds” will be trumped by the “wants” and “needs”! Coming or going? My own internal imperative insists that I be going.
Going out to meet autumn, joyfully.