Ask anyone how I feel about autumn and they'll all tell you the same thing — I love it.
I can never quite decide if spring or autumn is my favorite season because they both have equally wonderful things about them. When autumn arrives, I declare it my favorite as I pull out the boots, scarves, and sweaters, order my apple chai from Starbucks, and breathe in the crisp chill in the air for the first time. When spring arrives, I declare it my favorite as I pull out the sundresses, sandals, free up my toes, and feel the warmth of sun on my arms for the first time in months.
But right now it's autumn, so, of course, I am once again declaring autumn my favorite season.
And all favorite things deserve their very own ode, so this is my ode to autumn.
Dear Autumn, you're my favorite.
Of course I enjoy summer, but there's nothing like the first chill morning as the seasons begin to change. No season arrives quite like you, with such understated splendor. You begin slowly, with one leaf on the ground, a slight golden tinge to its edges. Then suddenly, one morning, I look up and you take my breath away with your technicolor trees set across the backdrop of an overcast sky.
I love your cool mornings and warm afternoons, your almost-but-not-quite-cold chill that fills the air as August turns to September. I love the crunch and texture you add to the ground, as beautiful brown, gold, and yellow leaves litter the ground, adding depth and beauty to the green grass.
I love pulling out the sweaters, scarves, and boots, layering up as you dispense your delicate chill upon the world. I love the vibrant colors represented on your trees — the golden yellows, bright cranberries, burnt oranges. I love that so many of your sunsets produce cotton candy skies and it's normal for me to walk outside and stop, completely in awe of the beauty before me. You come out of nowhere, brilliantly setting the world on fire in exquisite display as it prepares for death, renewal, and new life.
I love burying my face deep into my scarf as you progress and turn cooler. I love curling up in a warm blanket with a good book as your chilly wind whips outside my window. I love filling giant mugs with tea and breathing in their warmth. I love nights spend around the fire in beautiful laughter and wonderful conversation.
I love the way you bring people together like no other season. I love the gatherings in the kitchen and around the table, the reminder to slow down a bit after summer, which is often so busy. I love the quiet, slow evenings, brought about by the shorter days and longer nights. I love the game nights and laughter and meals filled with delicious food, lots of love, and lots of laughter.
I love your many excursions — apple picking, corn maizes, and hay rides. I love your opportunities to have fun dressing up in costumes and throwing parties, giving us all a chance to be a kid again in a socially acceptable way.
I love the way you encourage us to celebrate life in a different, slower, more intentional way than summer. Excursions to the beach and amusement park have their merits, but what brings me the most joy is the gathering of people and Autumn, you allow for that in a special way. Perhaps it's because of Thanksgiving, but something about you just makes me think of relationships and people and togetherness. You bring people around tables, sharing meals and sharing life. You encourage coming indoors and focusing less on the activity and more on the people, on the conversations, on the faces and lives right in front of us.
That is why you are my favorite — for bringing people together to see each other, for celebrating life in a slower way, for reminding us to be grateful, for putting one of my most favorite things — community — at the very front and center.
Thank you, Autumn, for being so wonderful.
And I'm so very glad you show up in North Georgia as well.