I am sitting by my kitchen window, feet up on the window sill, comfy Union flag (Jack) cushion beneath my ever increasingly padded behind. The warmth and golden glow of early evening light is casting longer and longer shadows across our back garden and I am watching (as well as typing this on my wonderful Mac – RIP Steve Jobs) my husband, boys, a neighbour and his children build a play set bought from Costco early in the summer months. This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.
This means 3 days in a row my boys and I get to be with daddy/hubby. We get to snuggle beneath the covers all together which is very much an autumnal thing. Tee hee, forgive me while I secretly snigger – my husband always teases me when I use the phrase ‘autumnal’. He says it’s so ‘British’. Well I am! Snuggling is an autumnal thing. The cosiness of the quilt wrapped around you, the darker mornings and the lust for ‘just a few more minutes’ before the day has to get going. I am an autumnal babe, and so is my youngest. I love this time of year more than the rest – and I can always find lots of things to love about long summer days, the freshness of spring and the crisp white of winter. Autumn is magical.
The colours of the leaves on the trees, the light of the sun that dances, the smell in the air of crisp cool mornings and dry sweetness of the harvest being brought in. I love the food of the season oh and the colours did I forget to mention the colours of the squash, the sweet potatoes mashed with butter or blended into sweet and hearty soups. Parsnips, swedes, (rutabagas to the North Americans out there!) beetroots, red cabbage, sweet chestnuts, and who can forget the pumpkins.
Of all the times of the year, it is now that I reminisce about England. Of school play grounds with the children back from summer holidays. With new school uniforms, new pencil cases, pens crayons and school books. Ah, the neatness of that first page of school exercise books! The newly written name and school year printed carefully on the front. The playtime filled with games of conkers (really UK you banned it – come on!), and marbles. Of chasing new friends and catching up with old ones. School photos. Hallowe’en and Bonfire night (remember, remember the 5th of November) – of that I have waffled before; Houses of Parliament, Guy Fawkes, gun powder and high treason. Of falling, scuffing, throwing, the mounds of leaves that heap themselves up just waiting to be played with by some passing by child (or adult with child like tendencies).
Then there are the holidays. We have birthdays, Harvest Festival, Canadian and American Thanksgiving, Halloween, Bonfire Night, half term, Remembrance Day I notice that Diwali is on 26th October this year too. All about lights, thanks, remembering, spirits, love everlasting, families and good over bad.
So get out those lights, candles and colours. Decorate your house with fall colours, rich yellows and reds and plums. Start baking those pies and serve with lashings of cream and home made custard. Let those hearty soups warm the cockles of your hearts, the baked potatoes be filled with cheese and beans, the air be filled with the scents of cinnamon, spices, orange and vanillas. Snuggle, cuddle, kick back and watch the sports, or put on your scarfs and mittens and hats and take a walk. Let the children run wild in those last gorgeous warm days before winter descends.
The landscape is beginning to go to slow down, go to sleep. Shorter days, longer shadows. But, before it does, Mother Nature with one final burst of colour, texture and smell gives us one of the greatest shows on earth – Autumn colours.