William Cullen Bryant once referred to autumn as the year’s last, loveliest smile and I could not agree more.
For those who are fortunate to experience all four seasons, you will know that autumn marks the annual transition from summer to winter. The evenings arrive noticeably earlier, temperatures begin to cool and pumpkin spice is abundant.
The word autumn is derived from the ancient Etruscan root autu – and has within it connotations of the passing of the year. It was then borrowed by the neighbouring Romans and became the Latin word autumnus. Before the 16th century, harvest was the term often used to refer to the season; however, as more people gradually moved from working the land to living in towns, the word harvest lost its reference and autumn as well as fall began to replace it as a reference to this time of year.
While the past few days in Southern Ontario have been dull, wet and grey, we have enjoyed some beautiful autumn weather and I am hopeful for more before the season ends. From Thanksgiving to Halloween and every apple orchard and pumpkin patch in between, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. With that said, here are a few of my favourite ways to embrace autumn:
Visit your local farmer’s market, apple orchard or pumpkin patch – While some associate farmer’s markets and fresh produce with spring and summer months (especially in Canada), autumn brings its own bounty to enjoy. Apples, pumpkins and squash… oh my! For me, it wouldn’t be autumn without a trip (or several) to my local apple orchard. That first bite of a crisp, fresh apple right from the tree sends me straight into autumn fever. Why not visit your local orchard, patch or market this weekend? Not only is it a lovely way to enjoy time with family and friends, but it is also a delicious and healthy way to add variety to your autumn menu.
Decorate your home – In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving a few short weeks before Halloween, so needless to say, there is quite a lot of opportunity to decorate one’s home for the season. Whether you enjoy recreating an episode of The Walking Dead in your front yard, or you prefer a more simplistic, natural approach, there is décor for everyone’s taste. One of my favourite ways to decorate for the season is to create simple tablescapes comprised of miniature gourds and pumpkins. This is a beautiful and easy way to add a touch of autumn to your home without breaking the bank, though zombies are fine too (Yikes!). Need some inspiration? Look no further than Southern Living Magazine’s Fabulous Fall Decorating Ideas.
Give thanks – With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there is no better time to reflect on all that you are grateful for. In the hustle and bustle of life, many of us (myself included), too often focus on what we do not have or what is not going well. Whether you reflect privately in a journal or share more openly with family and friends at Thanksgiving dinner, there is nothing better for the soul than taking time to acknowledge all that is right and good in your life. Better yet, take this one step further and begin a daily or weekly gratitude journal. If you record three things you are thankful for everyday, by this time next year, you will be able to reflect on over a thousand things to be thankful for.
Sip some soup – As summer nights give way to cooler temperatures, I often find myself craving food that is warm and soothing. Most often, I desire hot soups bursting with fresh, seasonal vegetables and spices. Butternut squash, lentil kale – not only do these soups sound like coziness in a bowl, but they are also loaded with nutrients that will do your body good. Here are a few recipes that may tickle your taste buds. The question is, which one will you make first?
- Butternut Squash with Crisp Pancetta
- Lentil and Kale with Sausage
- Curried Pumpkin and Coconut
- Creamy Brie and Apple
Admire the fall foliage – While each season brings its own unique beauty, there is something majestic and enchanting about turning leaves. As splashes of red, orange and yellow begin to dot the tree lines where I live, I can see why many argue that fall is the most photogenic season of the year. Over the coming weeks, I plan on taking every opportunity I can to get outside and admire the gorgeous hues. For my Canadian friends who would like to maximize their viewing experience, Jane McLean provides her take on the best places to view fall foliage in Canada. To my American friends, check out what Forbes deems the 10 Must-Visit Fall Foliage Destinations.
Grab a scarf – The crisp change in the air often marks a welcome change to my wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my summer dresses, but come October, I am ready to pull out my luxurious scarves, riding boots and flannel shirts (yes, I own flannel). I love introducing the season’s deeper hues into my wardrobe and this year’s colour trends are no exception. Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report for Fall 2015, “weaves neutrals with a range of bold colour statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural.” This season, I find myself drawn to the colours, “Marsala”, “Biscay Bay” and “Cashmere Rose”. Visit Pantone’s Colour Report here and find your favourite colours for this season.
Enjoy a seasonal delicacy – In Canada, Starbucks released their Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) on September 8th, and since that time, the length of the line at my local Starbucks is evidence that we all enjoy our seasonal treats. Perhaps, you are a PSL fanatic or maybe you prefer a delicious apple fritter or donut from a vendor at your local fall fair. Whatever your preference, go ahead and indulge! Sip that steaming cup of apple cider or eat that second slice of pumpkin pie. Enjoy, for much like the PSL, autumn does not last forever!
However you choose to embrace autumn, I wish you a plentiful and colourful season!