Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
This is one of my favorite poems and this morning even more so. It is remarkable that yesterday Iron Mountain was green and lush; today it sparkles with golds, burgandies, and oranges that would make Monet weep. I am in love.
Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, so much so that my last Lab was named Autumn. Yes, I love the lushness of spring and the promise of May. I am, after all, a Mother's Day baby. However, it is the richness of fall, the crispness of the air, that breathes life into me. I long for it in July. I dream of it in January.
What is there not to love? The astors dance in the fading sunlight like violet pinwheels held tight by the center; the sky is a blue that reminds me of my Grandmother's eyes; the air is crisp, like a Virginia Beauty apple, sweet and tart at the same time.
In the Autumn, I can indulge my love of all things knit. I love wearing wool and have a shawl for every day, it seems. I have Tasha shawls, short shawls, long ones, and round ones. Every kind a different fiber and pattern. Fancy, plain, simple, sweet, and elegant. It is, without a doubt, my favorite garment. I have tried knitting summer shawls, but they pale in comparison with the texture and richness of the Autumn shawls. Wearing one connects me spiritually with those of earlier times when such a thing was necessary. Now, it is a luxury.
The most delicious part of Autumn is the twilight. We moved to Florida when I was a teenager and I learned the most sorrowful lesson about twilight. There is none in the deep South. It is day; it is night. I relish most of all the delectable feeling of walking the dogs across the pastures above the goats' paddocks as the sun wistfully hugs the mountain ridges one more time before slipping into night. The air is a certain kind of stillness that one can only experience at this time of year. The light is magical. It is almost as if one is between two worlds -- a la Brigadoon -- and can feel the magic as well as the reality. Perhaps it is the Scot-Irish in me; I expect a fairy at any moment to brush my face.
As the dogs dredge the ground for the scent of a foe worthy of chasing, I pause on the small ridge and look down at Lazy Bee Farm. The candle shining in the front bay window welcomes the unexpected, but hoped for, return of those I love. The goats baaaa softly; the cats leap on hidden mice; the chickens sing their soft song as they roost for the evening. A slight breeze tousles my hair and my shawl, wrapped tightly across my shoulders, lifts gently. No other sound. Silence. And in that moment I know that I am home. I can see the years ahead of me -- berries, bees, weaving, goats -- living and dying where I belong.
Welcome home. Welcome Autumn.