Monday, October 4, 2010

New Fall

The combines zig-zagged around us today, muddying up our air, leaving all of us feeling a bit exposed. It was nice, living in this corn hide-away for the Summer. I'm not one to protest an autumn field of copper soybeans, but the corn years -- the corn years circle 'round me like a three month hug.

It's harvest time, and I'm blanketed thick and woolly at the thought of wagons spilling grain, storing up for the months ahead. In every field, flanneled farmers do the march. Up, down. Up, down. We eat our cereal under the thrumming of their motors. We eat our soup and the droning comes near again.

This is Fall. This is new Fall.

Old Fall found us plunking down a twenty for mums that would inevitably die. Dropping pumpkin-colored candle thoughtlessly into the shopping cart. Trolling websites for cute & cozies that I would probably only wear on Sundays.

I never noticed the harvest song.

New Fall has me determined to wrap my arms around the things I already have, the things that are every bit as special and infinitely more unexpected.

It turns out, Fall can be felt even without mums flanking the sidewalk. I feel just as cozy in last year's socks. A good book is a good book, whether bought or borrowed.

So, Fall is finding hand-me-down kicks, just in the nick of time.

Fall is pepper plants that just won't quit.

Fall is a long-forgotten decal that emerged in the rush of a house showing cleaning frenzy.

I'm spending my evenings bundled up, putting soup on the menu for three nights out of five. The air around us slows and I scratch that baking itch.

The truth is, this search for contentment is not quaint or idyllic. Those catalogs I canceled all of those months ago still show up like clockwork and I should be so wise to toss them in the can, pages unbent. But I take a peek, of course I do. I quick-count in my head. Oh, the damage I could do with just a hundred dollars!

But for reasons I still can't articulate, now is not the time for a shopping spree. I'm sure that day will come around again. I'll not be a forever-stranger to new boot socks or a frivolous Yankee jar.

Today, right now, I know that this is right. It is right to feel my Fall in a brand new way. It's right for me to look closer at gifts that can't be bought. It's right for me to bake muffins in my kitchen with the windows cracked open just enough for me to hear the song of the season.