Tuesday, September 9, 2008

colder days, warmer hearts

When I left the office last night, the Subaru's thermometer read 76 degrees. In the valley the trees were green, the sun was out, it felt like the high end of summer. Twenty minutes later when I drove up the mountain and turned onto West Road I looked at the temperature again. It was now 66 degrees, shady, and my car rumbled over a bed of brown maple and oak leaves. It really is more like fall in the hollow. This is where I belong.

Fall is the greatest. It's my favorite holiday - the most exciting time of the year. I thrive in crisp weather. I am beaming in hooded sweatshirts and beat jeans. I was miserable in the 80-degree Octobers of Tennessee (Its only true downfall.) Halloween is hands down my all time favorite holiday. Which sounds like I adore slasher movies and tacky faux zombie lawn decorations. I don't.

No, I'm an old fashioned gal when it comes to Halloween. At Cold Antler it's a celebration of a year well done. A true harvest party with a heavy focus on remembering those we lost. Old traditions like memory bonfires, storytelling, and serving a silently observed meal that was a deceased friend's favorite are all still celebrated here. The lurid stuff is not. I have no interest in a graphic Halloween championed by the horror industry. To me that modern interpretation is horrible, and makes a warm and beautiful Celtic tradtion a creepy mocking of mortality. (Honesty, I am more unsettled by spring, which is to me the creepiest time of the year). But Hallows is a happy time. A day to soak in memories, sit fireside, tell the kids about people they'll never meet, pet your dogs, and laugh with those who are lucky enough to be still among the living. It's nature's best last party before we all crawl under quilts and watch the snow confuse the hell out of the chickens.

So on that note, Vermont is really starting to feel like fall. Tonight they want the temperatures to drop into the low 40s, tomorrow night into the thirties. Which means I'll snuggle up by my fireplace with the dogs and read a cheesy mystery or watch an equally cheesy romantic comedy. Knowing that outside the sheep, rabbits, and poultry are all safe and warm in their keeps. I am looking forward to this so much it's making it hard for me to type a sentence without randomly adding words like PUMPKIN and FIREWOOD. Which apparently, I just did. Sorry, I am swept up in the magic.

I think it's important to look forward to the things that you know are coming. The guaranteed. To get pumped about the changing seasons, a sunflower's bloom, a holiday on the calendar. Putting stock in these simple things is healthy and rewarding because they can't let you down. If you put the proper levels on value on them it's hard to feel languid about life, or bored with the routine. I find that if all your priorities lay in things outside nature's control your certain to be disappointed. You don't always get promoted at work, or approved for that new car loan, or can afford a plasma tv screen without eating spaghetti for a year. But you can take fall to the bank. It's coming. And Vermont might be the greatest place in all of this small world to watch it unfold.

I am blessed over and over. I tell you there's no justice.


Blogger Darx said...

Amen! Fall is my favorite holiday, too, and Halloween. I enjoy silly costumes, brainy ones that make you think. I'm so glad to hear that fall has begun somewhere already. Vermont really is the nicest place for it, too. Good for you positioning yourself to experience fall to maximum advantage.

September 9, 2008 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Each year we put together a great pumpkin carving celebration on the farm. Fall in New England is the most beautiful place to be!

September 9, 2008 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The harvest season is an exciting time of year. It is in the 70s at night and 80 in the daytime where I live. I can vicariously experience an early fall through your writing. Apple cidar and hot chocolate are other fun fall words. Happy Day.

September 9, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I also love fall, but can't take it to the bank here, I'm afraid. We're still in the 90's and it will be sunny and 65 degrees on Christmas Day, just like always. No changing colors, no pumpkin patches. I grew up with that and sorely miss it. I too will relish in your descriptions! On the upside, October is the one month out of the year here that we get guaranteed perfect weather, so at least I have that!

September 9, 2008 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Sojourner Design said...


I'm wondering if there's anything that exists outside of nature's control.

September 10, 2008 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 14, 2008 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I, too, am a devotee of the waning year. I confess, with my head held high, that my playhouse as a child was called Fort Pumpkin, with a jack o' lantern flag to match. At this time of year I find myself drawn to the archetypal images and pastimes of the season - you know, the ones that strike a chord of recognition even when you haven't seen them before. Kind of Wordsworthian, if you will.

September 14, 2008 at 8:07 PM  

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