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Reflections From The Front Porch

The Smell of Autumn

Written by Darrell Anderson.

I notice many mixed emotions these days regarding life — and for good reason. No need for me to remind anyone of what is going on in this world.

Today, however, autumn arrived. The temperature was in the mid sixties, a drop of 20 degrees from only two days ago, but the smell in the air told me that autumn had arrived. For those of you who live in seasonal regions, I’m sure you know the sensation. The winds have shifted and anyone who lives in a northern region knows the day autumn arrives. Weather forecasters predict that tonight’s temperature is supposed to break 40 degrees, another sign that autumn is here.

The leaves are turning color here, but I’m far north and that is hardly unusual. But I notice this year that those leaves that have turned are much brighter than past years. Bright orange already seems to dominate the changing colors. Perhaps this year we’ll have one of those gloriously vibrant and brilliant autumns.

I mowed the lawn and then spent three hours in the woods working some more on my firewood supply. Although I broke a sweat, I nonetheless appreciated autumn’s arrival today. At times I reminded myself of many dogs I have watched when they stick their snouts high into the air and begin analyzing the smells that tingle their sensitive noses. I too, at various moments this afternoon, simply paused to smell the air.

While approaching one tree that I had felled this past spring, I startled a chipmunk and heard it squeal at me in retaliation for disrupting its own peaceful moment. Its little “flag post” tail was raised high as it scattered away from me.

The firewood stock looks good for this winter, although I’ll keep cutting. What I don’t use this winter will be ready for the next. I won’t be held prisoner by the propane dealer this winter, that’s for sure. Mostly, however, I’ll keep cutting simply to be in the woods. To enjoy the colors. To enjoy the air. To enjoy the crispness that only autumn provides. To remind myself that I am alive. To remind myself that all the two-bit tinhorns in this world mean nothing to me. To remind myself that spin doctors do what they do because they otherwise have no meaning and purpose in life.

At times we all tend to forget that there are things in this world that we still can enjoy. I myself had been feeling a bit “tight” the past few days and this afternoon helped me unwind. Autumn always has been my favorite time of year. No bugs, plenty of crisp fresh air, and a sense that soon we all will be snuggling near the fire to be mesmerized by its power and serenity. I encourage all of you to pause and enjoy the wonders and mysteries of autumn.

Finis.

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