The emotions are ramping up inside Amber. A feeling of anticipation grows stronger. She tries to stand still and listen to the footsteps. Then she turns the door knob gently and peeks outside. She feels the crisp cool air and the sight before her overwhelms her with its mysterious, fiery, and brilliant beauty. She blinks her eyes and looks again. The gorgeous golden light of the sun spills through the bright white clouds with glittering jewel tones. The vibrant and rich multi-colored leaves, shades of gold, yellow, and orange, form a dazzling seamless quilt on the ground. As if a carnival clown is holding a giant bunch of colored balloons. The different colored leaves are everywhere on the deck, the patio, the front porch, and the mail box. The lush scent of the leaves mingles with the musk of damp earth that fills the air. The air feels softer- gentle, calm, and enriched with the sharp smell of dry pine needles. Now she appreciates more Paul Laurence Dunbar’s lines in Merry Autumn “And nature, all from earth to sky is bubbling o’er with laughter” and Albert Camus’ “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is flower.”
Amber’s favorite season is Autumn. Chaucer first used the word “autumn” in the late 14th century. The word is derived from the Latin “autumnus”. Autumn marks the transition from Summer into Winter which starts with the September equinox and ends with the Winter Solstice. As Amber pulls the rustic wing-backed swing garden chair closer to sit, her eyes sparkle joyfully to see both her dogs come bouncing to join her. The yellow tabby crawls out from under the bush and salutes her with a querulous meow. Her husband has taken great care in maintaining the back yard with different fruit trees, flower plants, vines, and today it seems like the garden is under a spell of an enchanter. She looks at the sugar maple tree in one corner of the yard which makes a big statement, offering most of the gorgeous red, the orange and yellow leaves mixed with the dogwood’s purple and gold, and hickory trees’ gleaming bronze leaves. The apple tree that she planted two years back now has brilliant orange-red foliage. In one corner of the garden she notices the beautiful red, pink and white blooms of Chelone, Aster and Toad lily, pink -purple mums, and Pansies. She loves the blue and silvery foliage of the Russian sage, her daughter’s favorite, whose blooms have a beautiful scent that spills perfume into the air. Amber is overwhelmed with the beauty, realm of silence, tranquility and also by the abundance harvest, the magnificent display of the nature. Adam leans lazily against the kitchen window, reads the newspaper and then from the corner of his eye watches Amber. He can read his wife’s mood forecast very easily and today the forecast is just priceless. He knows how his wife is madly in love with Autumn. He makes two cups of pumpkin spice Brulee oolong tea and carries them on a tray to join his wife.
He hands the tea cups to Amber and says,’ Good morning! You are up early! Is it because of the beautiful weather?’
‘Yes, good morning and thanks says Amber, and admires the rich scent of the tea.
They sit a little closer as if they are newly in love and sip the tea slowly. They are awed to see how the leaves dance and twirl in the air, then fall softly on the ground. Adam breaks the silence and says, ‘Look at the squirrel how she is carrying four nuts in her mouth’! They both look at the funny sight. Then Adam leans over and says, ‘Today will be perfect to fill up the bird feeder, and this time I will mix both the sunflower seed and millet. Like last time may be this year we will get a visit from the chirpy, chattery long tailed Tits, Gold finch, Northern flicker, and white throated sparrows’. Amber smiles and gets up to help Adam and says ‘Yes I agree. Mostly I love the Gold finch and the white throated sparrows’. Then she turns around asks Adam about their evening plan about the football game and Halloween decoration, ‘So are you planning to watch the game from home or we will go out? Also if we get time then we can decorate for the Halloween’. Adam replies with excitement ‘Yes I have invited few friends to watch at home and in the afternoon we will start the decoration’. But today Amber does not care much about the game, the Halloween, or the new TV series. This dreamy weather has stimulated her to write with her beautiful imagination of Autumn.
She walks into her study room to finds how the enticing titles of ‘Jane Austin’s Persuasion’, Rebecca, The legend of Sleepy hallow and John Keats’ poetry are growing precariously tall on the table. She sits on her favorite chair, held her chin between the finger and thumb, wiggles her pen, then opens the crimson color notebook to write her own thought of Autumn.
Autumn is a season of transition. It symbolizes the evolution from youth to a more mature part of life as the new life in spring, the flowers, the green leaves, the summer and then the changing color of leaves and their fall. The nature’s cycle are mirrored in our life. It reminds the fleeting nature of all things and feeling of a deeper awareness and appreciation. We should always appreciate and be grateful for the things that come across our in our life, appreciate the beauties that surround us, and to surrender our masks and become true to our self. She closes her notebook softly and then peeks outside through the white curtain. Amber notices the spectacular big bright full moon that graces the autumn sky with the other beautiful winking stars. William Cullen Bryant’s line from Indian Summer as “Autumn…..the year’s last, loveliest smile” lingers in her mind.