Thursday, September 11, 2008

As Promised: Fall in Oregon

Fall in Oregon is a beautiful thing.

The sun is shining and the sky is a bright blue. The air is cold and crisp. It doesn’t look cold, but you can feel the shift in temperature as soon as you step outside. You can smell the difference; you can smell the edge of the chill.
You can feel it all the way to your toes when you inhale deeply.

It’s a delicious shiver.

Fall is a respite from the rains of spring which sometimes linger into summer. It’s a chance to see the sky before the rains of winter.

We are lucky to see evidence of earth and growing and harvest all around us. The richness is a part of the earthy smell in the air—the good kind of earthy. The kind that makes you wish you had planted a garden this year after all, so you can taste the corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, and other squashes.

I love the colors of fall.

I love the changing of the leaves—the bright pinks of the sugar maples, the salmons and scarlets of the Japanese maples, the brown of the oaks and the gold of the ginkgos. I love the crunch of the leaves. I relish the orange of the trees against the blue of the sky. The colors sing to me.
I love the catalogs with the new colorways announcing the shift from the bright and shiny to the deeper colors and textures of the shorter and colder days.

I love the names of the colors: pumpkin, loden, terracotta, aubergine, plum, cranberry, and moss; love the deep richness of the colors themselves.
We (my children and I) plan costumes and Halloween. We plan that the children will need to layer under their costumes to keep warm. We plan for wet, we plan for mud, and we plan for umbrellas and raincoats. I buy the candy we like to eat because the past five years have taught us that few trick-or-treaters will brave the dark of our street to get the treats at the end. We carve our own pumpkins and put them out as sentinels to light the way.

I don’t mind the mucky visits to the pumpkin patches with the school field trips. I know now to bring my own plastic bag to sit on so the wet haystack doesn’t seep through my coat and pants. I know to wear boots and bring an extra pair of shoes for my child. I bring another plastic bag for the mud-covered boots. There’s no way we are getting out of that pumpkin patch with just a pumpkin or two. The muck is coming with us.

At least there will be apple cider at the end. It has its own glories.

Fall makes me want to light candles, to wrap up in sweaters, to read books warm and cozy in my home. I switch from the lighter fragrances of summer to the deeper scents of fall. I trade my pink grapefruit and lemon verbena for cinnamon cranberry and orange evergreen.

It’s time to bake pies and bread, to fill the house with the smells of yeast and apple and comfort.

It’s time to hunker down and nest, snug for the season.

It’s fall in Oregon.


Satina said...

This is a beautiful writting! I love the pictures too. Good job!

Fowler family said...

So beautiful! Makes me miss Oregon real bad. What beautiful colors!!!

And that bread even smells good from here!