The Stewart Family
By Suzanne Mazer Stewart
Autumn happens to be my favorite season of the year. Everything seems
somehow more intense, more vibrant, in the Fall. Spring has its soft
flurry of re-growth and rebirth. Summer is slow, long and lazy. Its
haziness and heat weigh heavy upon the soul. Winter, with its crisp
whiteness and blue-gray cold, passes in a hushed quiet. Fall, it
appears to me, is a little bit more alive, more moving.
The October sky over the hills and hollows is a much brighter,
brilliant blue. I've spent Autumn in the Midwest, and in the Northeast.
I've never seen the colors of our Appalachian Autumn sky anywhere else.
Perhaps it is the mountains. Perhaps it is just God's little gift to us
hill dwellers. If you've never experienced it, you can't truly
appreciate it. Photographs don't do it justice.
We've had just enough of a chill in the morning air lately to cause the
maple by the driveway to acquire the slightest hint of its upcoming
glory. Some of the smallest, up-most leaves are showing off their
vermilion and scarlet. The full bloom of color won't come about until
after the first frost, but those few tiny hands waving near the top of
the branches are a wonderful promise of things to come.
The cornstalks are being stacked in their rows. The round and robust
pumpkins are ready for the picking; for turning into pie crusts and
porch goblins. The last of the Summer's bounty is being harvested and
housed. Rows of brightly colored jars line the pantry shelves, ready to
bring a taste of warmer times to the winter's dinner table.
The squirrels and chipmunks are frantic in their gathering in, too. The
groundhog along the roadside couldn't possibly get any fatter, could
he? The bunnies that plagued my garden all Summer are now venturing out
further in search of that last morsel before the long, cold, barren
months of snow and ice. Even the dog and cat are shedding Summer's
cooler, finer coat in favor of Winter's heavier, warmer fur. Every one
of God's creatures, it seems, is lively, busily preparing for
The Autumn has also brought the refreshment of rain. Summer's long, hot
dry spell has been broken. Once more, the creek is singing as it flows
along. Once more, the shingles sing out their song in the night. The
rain's washing cleans the dust of Summer's dry off the flowers, the
roads, the sidewalks. Nature's Fall housecleaning is in full action.
Soon, the leaves will crunch underfoot as we take our walks. Soon, the
smell of apples baking and saucing and buttering will fill our house.
Soon, pumpkin pies and rolls will be readying for the holidays soon,
too, to come. Soon, the hills will be covered in the glorious patchwork
of reds, golds, oranges, browns and greens. Soon, all too soon, it will
be over and Winter's gray and white will the fashion.
Perhaps Autumn is so bright, so vibrant, so alive, to give us something
to remember during the long cold months to follow. Perhaps, just
perhaps, God puts the Earth to bed for Winter's long night under the
colorful quilt of Autumn's leaves and the fairy-tale blue of October's