I am never happy to see Summer end, but once the Autumn Equinox rolls around, I have to accept it. Even though we are rapidly losing light in the Northeast, we still have some warm enough days here along the Connecticut shoreline. Some folks to go out apple picking, while others of us continue to nurse our geraniums until a frost.
It is in these early weeks of October that many people decorate their yards with pumpkins, corn stalks and Mums. The best decorating is done by Mother Nature who paints our trees with vivid reds, oranges and yellows. In Greek mythology, this change of season is the sadness of Demeter saying good bye to her beloved daughter Persephone, who leaves her mother to live half of the year with her husband in the underworld. It is at least a spectacular farewell inspired by a mother’s love that precedes the cold barren winter as she awaits her daughter’s return.
My childhood memories are of the carpets of leaves across our yard that we raked into a mountainous pile. Of course, you know what kids do with a pile of leaves. We weren’t concerned about twigs or ticks back then, just diving into a pile of leaves and disappearing below the surface only to pop out on the other side in a burst of energy. I almost think we started that annual rite after being tossed into the piles of leaves by my father. Perhaps to inspire us to rake the yard willingly each year? Autumn inspired our creative play.
Consider all of the color that is about to be painted across New England and anywhere else that shows season changes in foliage color, like the Aspen in Colorado. It is an opportunity to be creatively inspired in art, poetry, play and especially cooking. Notice my red onion, not what you’d expect but Autumn inspired just the same.
It is a season of nurturing and the arts do just that.
Be creative – Pumpkins and squash centerpieces that become a still life painting one day, can be soup or bread the next. Acorns can be strung on a cord as a necklace or glued into a wreath with moss and colorful leaves. Even as the leaves dry and lose color there is still beauty in their shapes and varied tones of brown. I remember as a child, taking fresh colorful leaves and pressing them with a hot iron between two pieces of waxed paper to create a stained glass effect to hang in a window pane. The beauty lasts last just a little longer than the ones on the ground. (If you try that , put newspaper between the hot iron and the wax paper)