A Walk in Autumn

“It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.”
– Diana Gabaldon, “Outlander”

It’s been a stunning fall, but it’s been an unusual one for me. I’ve been spending more time inside than usual, as I push to get the second draft of my North Dakota beer book done by the end of the month.

fiery-fall-leaves

This is the time of year when my social media feeds are full of photos of fall foliage tours and autumn hikes and beautiful nature photography. Honestly, I’ve been a little jealous. That’s ridiculous, I know, but being homebound is a little unusual for me and the fear of missing out is real when you’re talking about fall colors. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

So I’ve been getting my fall colors fix closer to home this year by taking long walks through my city. Because I couldn’t go far, I decided to watch closely. And it’s made me see my quiet West Fargo neighborhood with new eyes.

I’ve seen the trees ablaze and watched the colors change day by day. I’ve spotted fall colors I didn’t know existed, like deep magenta and and an arresting violet. I’ve stood still and listened to the sound of the wind in the trees and watched the sun light up a perfect leaf in the quiet moments before sunset.

purple-and-magenta-fall-leaves

Nature is amazing, whether you’re exploring in a State Park or strolling in your own backyard. These walks have made me love fall even more.

So I’ll leave you today with some lovely autumn thoughts and poems from other writers and thinkers who’ve also found themselves pondering quiet things on crisp fall days.

fall-leaves-looking-up

“It was one of those sumptuous days when the world is full of autumn muskiness and tangy, crisp perfection: vivid blue sky, deep green fields, leaves in a thousand luminous hues. It is a truly astounding sight when every tree in a landscape becomes individual, when each winding back highway and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed with every sharp shade that nature can bestow – flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.”
– Bill Bryson, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away”

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
– Albert Camus

fall-leaf-detail

“I am made for autumn. Summer and I have a fickle relationship, but everything about autumn is perfect to me. Wooly jumpers, Wellington boot, scarves, thin first, then thick, socks. The low slanting light, the crisp mornings, the chill in my fingers, those last warm sunny days before the rain and the wind. Her moody hues and subdued palate punctuated every now and again by a brilliant orange, scarlet or copper goodbye. She is my true love.”
– Alys Fowler

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise.”
– George Eliot, from a letter to Miss Lewis, Oct. 1, 1841, “George Eliot S Life, as Related in Her Letters and Journals”

fall-leaves-before-and-after

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth…The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her…In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
– Elizabeth George Speare, “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
– Jim Bishop

yellow-leaves-blue-sky

“And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days…”
– Dylan Thomas, “Collected Poems”

“Or maybe spring is the season of love and fall the season of mad lust. Spring for flirting but fall for the untamed delicious wild thing.”
– Elizabeth Cohen, “The Hypothetical Girl”

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