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  • Writer's pictureEnchanted Conversation

Cinderella’s Hearth: 76 Days Until Autumn

As of this writing, it’s 76 days until the most wonderful time of the year: the Autumn Equinox, but I’ll be calling it “fall,” because it makes me think of falling temperatures.

Why do I love it so much?

First, I’m not kidding about how much I love the falling temperatures. I live in the Midwest, which means our summers have always been extremely hot. The sun is brutal, endless and intense. This was true 200 years ago, and it’s more true now, thanks to climate change.

I find the sun so overwhelming that I no longer enjoy gardening, as the gardens in our yard are not shaded. So, in the summer, a formerly big part of tending hearth and home is off the table for this rapidly aging writer.

On the plus side, fall is the time of a gorgeous, soft light that is always gently shadowed no matter how sunny the sky is. The relentless sun on much of our yard gently fades each day. It’s restful and our garden looks spectacular.

Fall is a time to scale back outside and begin to bustle inside. It’s a time for gathering and drying and storing and inventorying. We change out the light clothes and bedding and prepare to hunker down like the Three Bears before the extremely rude and ill-bred Goldilocks breaks in.

Plus, for me, a university lecturer for so many years, it’s the real new year. January doesn’t do it for me. Every fall I’m taken back many decades to buying my five new fall outfits, new shoes, new pencils and textbook covers—usually brown paper that I doodled on all year long. It’s a fresh time for new learning and looking forward to life’s new experiences.

Then there’s October, which for me is the big event—the most wonderful time of the year! Warmer and cozier than Christmas and cooler and more relaxed than the Fourth of July, October is the month when I’m happiest. The pumpkins are absurdly orange, trick or treat is not too far away, and it’s National Book Month! It’s a time for casseroles and sweaters and whatever festively named beverage you can’t resist.

It’s a fairy tale of a month!

So, my fellow tolerators of summer, take heart. The happiest season is on its way.

Images by Arthur Rackham.



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