Why do I love Autumn in Virginia?
On the 6th of November, it is sixty-six degrees of sun-filled sky. The morning breeze sends orange and red leaves skittering across the pavement. Clouds of birds fly over my building heading further South. The steady stream of diving, dipping, chirping life lasts for 25 minutes. How many thousands could that be, making their merry way to sunnier shores? I stand staring up, open-mouthed, until I realize what is falling from the sky, polka-dotting the cars in the lot.
The evidence of fall is here, in the mama and baby bear who wander through the pasture, four eerie eyes, bright in the flashlight beam. They set the horses to stamping and snorting and send my daughter's heart skipping into triple beat. They were merely looking for a place to hibernate. "Not in our barn!" She says.
Autumn sports are played in the brisk, chill mornings, we stand screaming and shivering in hats and scarves, fingers gripping hot coffee, the steam swirling into empty air. By game's end, we are in shirt-sleeves, cold coke pressed to forehead, while the sun seeks to turn our skin to the same russet of the leaves.
Autumn is a kind friend in VA, bringing simple gifts of the full fall harvest, the colored leaves, and lazy sunshine. The cold nights cast a frosted glow on every morning, but roses still bloom in our front garden, slim and regal, floating on their green-coated stalks. Past the weighty, viscous heat of summer, and before the bitter ice-rains come, fall rests, offering a lull in the passing seasons, time to pause, to watch the birds and reflect on nothing more than beauty, simplicity, and the natural wonder of our world.