Once I have resigned myself to the end of summer, and sun, and long days of hiking and staring into space, I love fall.
I love putting the coop back on a garden bed and the ladies back to work, fertilizing and aerating the soil.
I love hanging our beautiful hand-made by Mark Meyer wooden storm windows around the house, how the inside becomes more silent and the outside picks up another layer of color.
I love the smell of apples in the larder, the glow of Boston Marrows in the shadows, the milkcrates of potatoes, the shelves of jars of canned and dried goods and tins holding grains—there is food stored throughout the house for the winter.
I love the muted colors of the bigleaf maples against doug firs and the way the clouds come down and sit on the hills that surround our town.
I love fires in the evenings and the piles of wood, sorted by size, in the basement.
I love how the grass is green again from the early rains.
I love wearing wool sweaters or heavy sweatshirts in the mornings—and a t shirt in the afternoon, when the sun comes out.
I love the weight of winter blankets and the cool breeze from the open bedroom window at night.
I love having people over for potlucks or pie, sitting around the dining room table telling stories.
I love empty campgrounds and trails.
I love the way school settles into a rhythm after the first month—papers in, papers out—and everyone knows the rituals of the room.
I love the first hard rain of the season and how loud it is on the skylight in my classroom—the rush to look up in the center of the space.
I love seeing the bare lines of the garden beds and the trees, spotting the branch that needs to be trimmed out, rethinking the position of a planter.
I love how the cats move inside and search out laps once more.
I love baked winter squashes and roasted potatoes, lasagna and flan, baked beans and brown bread.