Fall. The word itself evokes a sense of coziness and an urge to sit with my knees drawn to my chest and a warm mug of coffee cocooned in my hands. The morning air startles me with a slight chill as I step out onto the screened porch with a delusional Yorkie who is desperate to catch the fat but nimble squirrel on the deck. By noon I’ll be wearing shorts and blasting the ac in my oh-so-awesome Sienna, but I’ll take it while I can. We have the best of both worlds here in the south, really.
This time of year more than any other makes me want to burrow into my little nest with my people. Fall decorations are my favorite with multi-colored leaves, baskets, and fat orange pumpkins. Yellow mums pop like sunshine against the red brick steps on my porch (assuming I don’t forget to water them. Again.) A vintage quilt as varied as Joseph’s coat tossed across a rocking chair invites me to actually sit for a minute and just be.
Say what you will about the pumpkin spice craze, but there’s a reason for it. Pumpkin spice creamer in hot coffee makes a breakfast dessert (is that a thing?) Then there are the donuts, umber-colored and dusted with sugar and spice and everything nice. Pumpkin ice cream tops warm apple pie like nobody’s business. Pumpkin scented candles are like tiny bonfires you can burn right on your desk while they fragrance your home, and who in their right mind doesn’t love that idea?
October offers a tiny lull in this interim between summer pool parties and holiday festivities. A comforting rhythm ticks off the days as big yellow buses crawl along the road filled with rambunctious children morning and afternoon. The school bus doesn’t stop here since our school can’t be contained in brick and mortar, but it reminds us that we are part of the same cadence. My final home school senior and I linger over bowls of Cheerios and mugs of coffee as we ponder the Lost Colony and its fate, why penny candy no longer costs a penny, and whether the new SAT represents a fair scale by which to judge a person’s potential. Dual enrollment classes at a local university fill out our afternoons, and then sooner every day, the sun slips low behind the rim of woods around our home.
My mom always reminds me that, “A house is just a house, but it takes a whole lot of living to make a home.” We have lived a lot of seasons in this particular house, and it has become the epicenter for all the parts that make the whole. But the real heart of home is in the gathering, and the sharing, and the laughing- and sometimes crying. As the leaves begin to let go, the sense of melancholy that fall seems to carry with it makes the anchor of home so much sweeter. We need the retreat from the brisk evening air into a kitchen that smells like homemade potato soup and sounds like love. In a world overrun with chiming reminders to check email and screens that cast a pallor on our faces, we are desperate for rest. Fall is God’s way of bringing us into that place of rest and joy in the harvest, whether you grew vegetables or, more importantly, as a family.