Changing With The Seasons

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IMG_0490Here we are again, in that beautiful time of year when leaves start to change their colors, nights call for soft blankets, and chilly mornings make me run to the attic to unpack a few cozy sweaters.

I LOVE this time of year. Though spring is always magnificent here in Virginia, with it’s colorful blossoms and the promise of new life, summer, usually leaves me exhausted with its busy pace that eventually drains my energy. The best parts of summer for me are those sun warmed tomatoes picked directly from the garden, and sweet, juicy peaches that make my hot weather breakfasts of yogurt, fruit and nuts, especially delicious. Now the peaches are getting scarce and when I can find them they’re mealy in texture. So I’m turning over with the season, moving to warmer breakfast foods like left over soup, bowls of hot cereal, or eggs and bacon.

DSCF0621My writing muse is fighting with my garden genie, which is calling me to spend more time outside amongst my plants. I’ve dozens of baby hellebores that need to be dug up and moved, lots of weeding, and the roses that have gone wild over the warmer months need pruning. In the summer, working in the garden is an early morning affair, but now cooler temperatures lure me out all day long. Thank goodness both are creative activities.

The arrival of autumn encourages me to slow down and get ready for the cold months, when I spend most of my time indoors writing, and reading. When I’m cold, I like nothing better than a long soak in my big tub filled with bubbles and the scent of lavender. Hot steaming cups of tea that include warming herbs and spices, like cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, sipped in front of a crackling fire also will do the trick. I’m going to bed earlier now, and get up later, with the sun. I’m yearning to cook stews, braises, and soups with root vegetables like parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots that warm my soul.

On my morning walks, I notice squirrels stashing acorns away for the winter. Birds are fewer and quieter than they have been. Lilliput, my cat, is playing her seasonal game of in and out, unable to decide if it is more pleasant inside or out in the yard. The dogs walk at a much brisker pace cutting our walk time from about twenty minutes to fifteen. Once the real cold arrives they’ll walk even faster, wanting to come back in the house to warm their small bodies, in five minutes. Lilliput will go out to do her business and perhaps stalk a blue jay, but will be back in a flash if no bird are about.

Change can be hard. As a child I moved with my family from house to house, like a gypsy, as fast as my father could build them and sell them. I had little sense of what home really was. I’m ready to stay put now, especially at this time of year, when my feather comforter and warm wooly socks invite me to curl up on the sofa with a good book.

Do you enjoy the change of seasons? What is your favorite season and why?


  1. Every year I play the game with myself of “which season do you like best?” It’s usually posed when the season I’m in isn’t quite to my liking, but I’m wanting it to be. Like now. When I lived in northern climes, I adored fall for all the reasons you cite. But in NC it’s just not quite ever there. Sometimes. Just enough to keep me asking that question. Spring here always feeds my soul, after too many days indoors and the fresh newness of the earth calls to me. This time of year I’m so ready to be done with the gardens and flowers that never quit blooming and stay pink when it’s time for yellow and burnt orange. I’m a restless creature by nature, so you see I’m still undecided! Any beautiful day, when the air is cool and fresh, or even cold and fresh, is my favorite time of year. I am grateful for the love that nature pours into my life every day, even when I’m not paying attention.

    • Dorothy,
      You are right about the northern climes. I’m going up to Vermont next month to see those mountains where I used to live. And as you say:
      “Any beautiful day, when the air is cool and fresh, or even cold and fresh, is my favorite time of year.”

  2. Oh I love fall. The poignant beauty of it, the desire to cuddle up and be warm, enjoying all those sensual pleasures of indoors – fires in the fireplaces, candles, hot tea and cinnamon toast, stews and soups in the crockpot. I love my fleecy sweaters and warm wooly socks. Love settling into my comfy chair and wrapping a soft afghan around my shoulders.

    Happy days ahead. I plan to savor every on in anticipation of winter’s chill.

  3. I know my toughest season is the winter – the main reason I moved away from the cold, snowy region where I was raised. And still, I appreciate winter’s beauty – though preferably from afar!

    I do love the change of seasons, and find I simply cannot pick a favorite among spring, summer, and fall. The very fact that they are so different and each so full in their gifts to us adds to the pleasure of experiencing each.

    • Thanks for stopping by, D.A. I lived in Northern Vermont for almost twenty years. One of the reasons I left were the frigid, snowy, loooong winters. I like the changes that happen here in Virginia. Not too little, not too much!

  4. Dear Joan,

    Though every season has it’s own beauty ( yes ,even winter–“nesting time”!), autumn is by far my favorite time for all it represents to me–a return to order, starting anew, brilliant colors, sunny cool days. If I didn’t like autumn , your words would convince me otherwise. I love your rich descriptions. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Joan – Autumn is my favorite season. I love the vivid colors, and the therapeutic task of raking leaves once they fall. I enjoy seeing festive pumpkins and corn stalks on people’s front porches, and I love the wide brushstroke of squash available at this time of year; baked with a dab of butter and a pinch of brown sugar, they smell like “home” to me.