I love sitting outside on the Autumn nights, now.
Autumn has always been my favorite season, and nighttime is still my favorite time of day.
More so than dawn, when my brain struggles to fire up the engines; more than midday, when I’m rushing from place to place, distracted by everything that needs to get accomplished; more than evening, when I’m constantly moving from one thing to another, between the kids, the evening meal, the leftover tasks from the day.
Calm, cool, easy to be silent, and lost in the wanderings of my thoughts, I sit outside on my front step, the porch light my only companion. And whether reading, or simply taking in the softness of the dark around me, I am peaceful. Serene.
Gone are all the things that filled my day. Either done, or waiting for the next sunrise, I put them in my pocket, and forget them for a few, small hours, and just relax.
Sitting there on my porch, I can feel the difference of the seasons, truly, with all my senses. The edges of things seem softer, more frayed, as though they, too, are tired of the heat of summer, and are ready to lay down their burdens for a good long rest. Late afternoon sunlight seems more golden, hazy, and comfortable. And the air smells of the first tang of leaves just beginning to change their colors. The sharp, almost musky smell is pulled into my lungs, and it reminds me of smoky fireplaces and warm comfort. My ears hear the sounds of the cars that rush past, 1, 2 streets down, and farther away, the main road through my city is a faint shussh-shussh of vehicles moving from North to South, and back again. Even my sense of touch is engaged, feeling the shift in the air pressure, lighter than summer, seemingly less dense, in a way, than just a few weeks ago.
When I’m driving, I roll my van window down all the way, and let the air rush in through the opening, pulling my hair up and away, tangling around my ear, and tickling my neck and face. I will even hold my arm out the window, resting it on the sill, to catch and cup the air as it is pulled past me, rolling the breeze up and over my hand like a wave of softness. I find myself wishing that I was a kid again, riding in the bed of my dad’s pickup, standing at the back of the window, and raising my arms up over my head to feel as much of the wind as I could.
And I’m reminded of the smell of freshly baled straw and hay, one crisp, dusty and golden, the other a softer, sweeter smell, that still retains the memory of green. The sensory memories pull me back in time to younger days, living on our farm, with my horses, and my goat, Heidi. Memories of laying in the hay bales, reading, or napping in the sunshine for hours, only to wake up with all of the kittens from the barn snuggled up close, purring loudly in joy. Memories of jumping on my horse, Snooker, with only a bridle. We’d leave the farm, and race as fast as he could move, through ditches, down gravel roads, and across empty, harvested fields.
Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I can’t wait to see what memories I make this year out of my golden sunshine, cool evenings, and starry nights.
Sleep well, my friends. Autumn’s blessing has arrived.