Joyful Reflections: Autumn and Summer’s Last Kiss
Tomorrow is the first day of autumn. That sound you hear is my heart singing.
We don’t see a drastic change here in the South. Nothing like New England, where I grew up. Oh, leaves change color here in Georgia, but even the North Georgia Mountains, as beautiful as they are this time of year, offer only a pale shadow of the glory that is a New England autumn.
I’m opening myself up to a good tar and feathering by saying that, but it’s true. Anyone who has witnessed autumn in both places knows this. I’m not dissing the South. I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else and I love it. But when it comes to autumnal beauty, it can’t hold a candle to New England.
When I was a kid, fall meant Sunday football and the scent of New England boiled dinner wafting through the house—ham, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, seasoned as only my mama could do. Autumn meant crunchy walks in warm sweaters and swirling eddies of whispering leaves, wood smoke curling from chimneys and melding with the loamy scent of Earth preparing for hibernation. Autumn was rolling hills covered in innumerable shades of red, orange, and gold so vibrant it hurt your eyes and made you believe in God.
I miss those New England autumns. I miss the scents and colors and evoked emotions. I do not miss the harsh winters that followed those autumns, and that is perhaps one of the main reasons I’ve come to embrace the South. The fall here may be muted by comparison, but the winter is easier to handle.
In a perfect world, I’d have a home in the mountains where autumn shows a strong and glorious face, and also a home at the beach where an ocean sunrise would begin my days. Nothing brings me closer to God than being embraced by those things. I’d divide my time according to temperature and season. Maybe one day my husband and I will find a way to achieve that balance.
In the meantime, I’ll take what I can get, which includes the onset of glorious fall days. A trip to the North Georgia Mountains is in my future, because even though it isn’t autumn in New England, the beauty to be found is still breathtaking. It is time now for cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice, and the creeping of Halloween into yards and onto front porches. It is time for digging out boots and sweaters, lighting lanterns, and breathing deeply of summer’s last kiss.
What are your favorite memories of autumn? To help you think, I’m sharing a recipe for pumpkin latte offered by Julianne Hough via her Facebook page.
• 1 cup of black coffee or black tea
• 2/3 cup evaporated milk
• 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
• 2 teaspoons of honey
• 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine coffee or tea, milk, real pumpkin, sweetener or honey, pumpkin spice and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Stir slowly while it gets hot. Pour into two mugs and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional).
Have a wonderful week, and may your first day of autumn bring you joyful reflections.
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