The Turning

October 4, 2011 by Ellen Stimson in Autumn, Family

I love autumn. There is something about the turning, the sweet and blessed turning. It is a time of memory and reflection. For a few minutes or a few days we are betwixt and between. The long lazier days of summer are in the family album. All those late nights with teenagers , sandy floors after hours at the beach, and board games for rainy days are put on the shelf til next year. The kids are back in school and the holidays are still a ways away. But now we get a present. A little pick me up til the next big thing. The leaves begin to color at the same time the sunshine softens and deepens. There is a golden cast to everything it touches. It pours through our windows like honey and we are all bathed in its light. The mountains around us look rich dressed in orange and red and purple. The air is crisp and we begin to wrap loose capes around our shoulders and to dig out the Frye boots and soft woolen socks. The kitchen too changes its colors. From tomatoes and basil to cinnamon and nutmeg. There are thick stews and chewy cheddar biscuits.

Autumn is a reminder that things come and go. Summers roll into one another from years with little children playing in the hose to young teenagers kicking balls, skateboarding and painting their nails at slumber parties. Then those go by and we get young adults with boyfriends and girlfriends and jobs and dogs of their own. Everybody cooks together and there are plenty of hands to carry the picnic down to the beach. Each season has its own pleasures. Those days with babies were sweet and these with adults who make us laugh are just as nice in a whole new way.

This autumn after a hurricane and masses of rain which dried up a bunch of the leaves in the low boggy spots has a quiet gentle sort of beauty all its own.. You must look up to see the color which is not a bad thing to have to remember. We had a particularly lovely summer with a house on a pond, lots of time in the swing, canoes and plenty of splashing. There were long gentle beachy days where our talk meandered and plans got made. It was quiet somehow too as we each missed Steve in our own way . Now our son is partridge hunting with his Spinone girl Olive. A new autumn pleasure like living in NYC is for Hannah and a new school and a new pack are for Eli.

Life moves inexorably on.

These leaves make me remember other autumns and times past. It is not so much sad as it is a thoughtful tour of time gone by as we walk again in these very old woods. New to our pack this year are Dan, Olive and Violet. Oscar is a veteran with one autumn tucked in already. He takes his job as tour leader of leaf piles quite seriously. Dan is leading his own tour of a NYC autumn with Hannah. She is getting to know about football, apartment life, and the subway and we are all along with her on the ride. My mornings now include a call with my coffee for the walk to the train with an update on the thirty or so things that happened just since yesterday. You can’t go back and since good stuff keeps coming why would you want to? Most of us are still here and so forward we will go together making new memories at the apple orchard, in the woods and next to the fire. I just got a great spicy cinnamon and a really dark cocoa powder. I am thinking braised short ribs in wine and chocolate with an apple crostada for dessert. The turning is here. And gladly, gladly…. so am I.


  • Library lady

    I had just about given up checking Mrs. P's Barn for a new entry, but something told me to try. After such a hot dry summer, I was sure that we wouldn't have any decent colors this fall, but thankfully, I was wrong. True, some of the trees are mostly brown, but there are a few we can count on, and the fire bushes are gloriously red, so we haven't missed all of the splendor!

  • molls

    Oh You are back!
    Keep em' coming Mrs P. It has been a long lonely stretch without you

  • Abigail Mae Hudson

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  • E

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  • Abigail Mae Hudson

    Yes yes. This was lovely. Don't stop. Please keep writing. I don't know what made me check today but I am so glad I did

  • starrlife

    Funny to read right after the last one! We may yet have an Indian summer ya know!

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