Harbinger of Change

My weekly newspaper column:


Autumn (Photo credit: blmiers2)


  “Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~ William Cullen Bryant

 Autumn. Fall. A new season is upon us. It is a magical time of year and envelopes the end of summer with two seemingly opposed celebrations: Thanksgiving and Halloween. But I am getting ahead of myself here—there will be time for both of these festivities—juxtaposed as they are in the coming month.

            We still have a few days left of September where two seasons meet—one fades away as another takes the reigns. The changing of seasons reminds us of the passage of time. I try not to wish away time anymore which I suppose comes from knowing I have fewer years ahead of me than behind. There is certain wisdom in this, but also a determination that the best is yet to come. Not because wonderful things have not happened in the past, but that is the past, it is the present that should be paid attention to, paving a way toward a future, uncertain though it may be.

            I have been patient to this point, not bringing out too much of my fall décor until it was officially fall, but now all bets are off. Never mind that I have had my fall wreath on the front door for several weeks, or have changed up some of the candles to fall plums and pumpkin, or have an ornamental pumpkin sitting on my coffee table. And yes, just last week I gathered a few pinecones from beneath a tree at the park and have them nestled in a wooden box. Unbridled,  I will bring out my collection of pumpkins, my silk autumn leaves (okay they are not silk but suffice to say they are not plastic), and the rest of the flotsam and jetsam of autumn I keep boxed up waiting for this glorious time of year. {I often reflect how now I use the words glorious and lovely and other words of gush that at one time I would not have gone near with a ten foot pole—dare I say that entering the early (early—did I stress early?) fall of my life I am less reserved, more liable to effusiveness? }



Fall PEEC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I find that I am not the only one enamoured with the fall. In a way, I find others loving my favourite season a bit intrusive, making it no longer mine. But over the years I have learned to share, and in that sharing learned to appreciate it even more. I remember as a student, walking along the sidewalk to school, shuffling along in the leaves that had fallen; and looking around to see that no one was watching, then kicking them up, creating a mini-furor of colour. There is nothing better than walking through fallen leaves in the fall, the sound of the crisp crush under footfall.

            I will share a few quotes I found that speak to me of autumn, that share my fervour for the season that precedes winter. Perhaps my favourite is this one from nature loving author and journalist, Hal Borland: “Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and colour and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance.”       

            Writer George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) declared, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” Lavish in her ardour for fall, I can quote the dear lady freely and feel that I will never attain her ebullience (in other words using “lovely” and “glorious” will still in no way put me in the same poetically lyrical class as this great writer).

            Rebel philosopher, Albert Camus said that “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is in flower.” And Samuel Butler declared something in the same vein saying, “Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruit.” Elizabeth Lawrence is a lady after my own heart—she believes that “Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” I can only imagine the patience this would take if one took her advice literally.

            I hope you have enjoyed our autumn journey, and if you were not a fan before—perhaps I have persuaded you at least a little to join me in the celebration of this new loveliest and glorious of seasons. (yes, my tongue is wedged firmly in cheek here).

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  1. […] Harbinger of Change (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Delicious, glorious, lovely — all apt adjectives for that sweet first feel of Fall. It’s too short, but it’s wonderful. Loved your column, Lou.

    • thanks so much Brigitte–delicious is a wonderful word to describe this favourite of all seasons (besides Christmas–which is a seaon unto itself)

  3. I love the adjective “delicious” to describe this season…the smells, the colors, the food, the warmth of an old sweater…delicious. yes..

    • Nostalia brought to life, don’t you think?

      • Absolutely!

  4. Yesterday we drove home from the cottage and the leaves seemed to change overnight….it looked like we were driving through a autumn painting, truly beautiful.

    • an autumn painting–what a wonderful way to describe it–you are getting the big change a bit before us–we just have a few tinges

  5. Autumn makes living in New England worth the it. Great column.

    • I am going to have to visit New England in the fall–sounds like Disneyland to me

  6. You make me wish Autumn was here! What a lovely weekly column 😀


    • thanks my friend–yes it is quite the opposite where you live isn’t it?

  7. Great post, but I still wish it could be summer all year long :).

    • you are a summer girl–our fall here is like late summer

      • Yes I am :), but it’s not fall that I don’t like. It’s what comes after. Brrrrr!! If we could only skip winter, I would be perfectly happy with spring, summer, fall, spring, summer fall :).

      • you should move to southwestern Ontario–we get winter but not usually very long or cold

      • Have you got an extra room?? LOL!

      • I can clean out one of the boys’ rooms–they are not using them right now!

      • Oh boy, just think of all the fun we could have!!

      • and the casino and Chapters are only about 30 and 45 minutes away!

      • Packing my bag!

      • see you at 5!

  8. Our autumn is colourless!

  9. Great column – I love autumn, all of it. I am always reminded of walking to class across the quad during the university years. Some of the dorms would have their windows open and someone would have propped a speaker in the window to share the music with the people outside. It feels like a new beginning, every fall.

    I only have a few pumpkins from the garden sitting on my front porch so far – I don’t think the fall decorations survived our brutal downsizing and decluttering when we moved. I know we moved into a bigger house, but it seemed like a good time to transport a lot of unneeded stuff to Value Village and Sally Anne. Now, however, I am left looking for decorations (and my favourite winter purse, which I think got caught in the clean-out, too. Oops).

    • I remember that distantly too–walking across the quad and Michael J who lived on the 10th floor of the boys residence would have the Beatles blasting–even though it was the 70’s
      I love fall too (obviously)–just think you can now get fresh new fall decor–but I hope you find your purse

  10. Sorry to steal your season thunder but I too love fall best of all the seasons. It’s so crisp and refreshing after the hot sluggishness of the summer. And I like the crunchy sound the leaves make. And I always associate fall with baking—more so than winter. So bring on the pies!

    • I will share my favourite season with you any day Madame Weebles! I too love pies–an added bonus and apple crumble and cinnamon buns and……….

      • Ohh, cinnamon buns. So yummy.

  11. The ‘fall’ was my mother’s favourite season and it is then when I remember her putting leaves in the telephone book and then waxing them… ‘ironing with wax paper’… And collecting leaves from various trees for a school project… It is a most beautiful season… Diane

  12. No need to feel bad at having to share autumn with me, because I hate this time of year. Yep, really. I know it’s pretty, and the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,’ but to me it’s as if the world is dying. I get pretty melancholy round about now.
    Sorry to rain on the parade, but it is autumn. You have to expect bad weather.

    • I do understand that fall is the beginning of cooler then cold weather and that everyone does not share my enthusiasm–sorry it affects you this way

      • Don’t worry about me. I’m just a grumpy old git.

      • I like a little grumpy–makes life interesting

      • I guess that makes my life very interesting indeed.

      • ha ha

  13. How nice to read your column, LouAnn. I so love fall, especially when it’s unusually warm.

    • it is gorgeous weather here right now too–I love the fall too–just something about it

  14. I love autumn! Sounds like our decorating is much the same…pinecones, and fall foliage, wreaths, pumpkins, gourds…all the traditional elements! The only time of year I love orange! ~ Sheila

    • it does come into its own at this time of year–I just love pumpkins–they seem so friendly

  15. […] Harbinger of Change […]

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