No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.– John Donne
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. I’m not alone in this. Surveys show that autumn and spring always run a tight race for favorite season. Yougov.com says that autumn is the winner, while Gallup says the honor belongs to spring. Both agree that your age has a lot to do with what you prefer. The under 35 crowd prefer summer, while the over 65 prefer spring. Autumn tends to be the favorite for people like me in the middle. It’s perhaps the one time that I don’t mind being like everyone else.
My guess is that our reasons for an autumn preference vary. I know many who equate fall with football season. Others mark it as the end of mowing season! Lots of people like the relief that autumn brings from the heat of summer. Others look forward to autumn produce—apples and pumpkins—oh, my.
And what is with this pumpkin fetish people have? I mean, have you seen the number of things flavored with pumpkin these days? However, if you live near a pick-your-own-farm, you have to do this. If there’s not one close, it’s worth a drive. Really.
These are all great reasons to love autumn, but they aren’t mine. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and one thing I’ve discovered is that I need color. Lots of it. And autumn provides that.
During the past couple of years, I’ve been undergoing a major transition in my life. It awakened a need to bring color into my life. Although I am perhaps the world’s worst wall painter, I painted walls. I ignored home re-sale advice and moved beyond white. What is white but an absence of color?
A teal accent wall space now highlights treasured photographs. Door frames and doors received a splash of color. I reclaimed my bedroom with seamist green. And discovered that color opens our eyes and our souls.
While the array of autumn colors is probably reason enough to prefer fall, it’s not my only reason. To me, autumn signifies change and a new chapter more than any calendar changing to a new year does. I agree with Nora Ephron, who wrote this about fall: “It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
When we’re young, autumn is the beginning of a school year, always brimming with new wonders and possibilities. Later when you’re a parent and taking those back-to-school pictures, you revel in the wonder of watching your children developing into the unique human beings they are meant to be.
The things I have to do and the things I want to do could easily fill two lifetimes, but in the autumn of my life, I’m trying to make a point to occasionally take time to be still and be grateful for everything in my world. I’m listening to another writer, Elizabeth Lawrence, who tells me that “everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”
Happy first day of autumn. May you find plenty of opportunities to “watch the leaves turn.”