Guess what? Fall is finally here, like really here. The sky is wide open and blue, all of the trees are turning orange and gold, the nights are chilly, the birds are starting to migrate, and the list goes on. Fall is one of the most beloved seasons, and it’s for a good reason. Seldom is a change in the earth felt so keenly, as when the end of summer approaches–the temperature cools, and a rainbow of colors burst forth from every green thing, transforming the landscape. Back in September, we got a sudden cold snap and for a couple of days it was actually freezing. In only a matter of days, the temperature went from upper 90s F, then dropping below 40 F. I thought winter had decided to come early and skip right over autumn– but it was only a false flag as a few days later the temperature shot back up to 80/90 degrees. But those two days served as a wake-up call, signalling that the end of the Summer was nigh.
Now that we’re over halfway into October, the weather is much more mild, and it feels like a proper autumn. A few days ago, I went shopping and came home with eight giant pumpkins for the front porch. Before that, it had been suffering from a rather disappointing lack of orange–but I took care of that and now I can rest easy. (Alas, I had to give most of them away. I mean, eight giant pumpkins on my front porch may have been a little excessive.)
October is a peaceful month, with no major holidays to overshadow, or steal away these quiet days. It’s a wonderful time to just be, and sit back and enjoy the beauty around us. So today, in honor of this most favored season, I thought I would gather up some of my favorite fall-time things, and share them with you.
Let’s start with one of my personal year-round favorites: tea.
Homemade Ginger Cinnamon Tea
2 cinnamon sticks (make sure they're the edible kind!)
ginger root (about 2 inches)
honey, sugar, or maple syrup
2 1/2 C water
Fill a medium sauce pot with water. Peel your ginger nub, (spoons work great for this), and slice it into discs. Place ginger, and two cinnamon sticks in the pot. Turn heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover partially to reduce evaporation, and simmer for 15 minutes. (Simmer only 10 minutes for a more mild infusion.) Let cool slightly, pour into cups and add sweetener of choice. You can also add milk or cream, if that's your thing.(Makes 2 cups)
*When using fresh ginger, it can be quite strong, so adjust amount to your preference.
Ginger is incredibly warming, so it’s great to drink on cold nights. It’s also an immune booster, and a powerful anti-viral/anti-bacterial, which is perfect for all of the nasties that come along with colder weather. Cinnamon is also very warming, and useful in improving digestion, and circulation–plus it’s pleasantly tasty. I’ve been drinking this tea in the evenings, when I want something warm, and comforting.
Now that we’ve got our drink covered, I think we should sit down to enjoy our cuppa, and do some reading. I wracked my brain, and came up with a few titles to recommend for your autumn TBR. These books aren’t specifically fall-ish, but they have that certain wistful feeling that often reminds me of fall.
- The Scent of Water, by Elizabeth Goudge
You can’t spell autumn, without the word British…wait, that doesn’t make sense. What I’m trying to say is, there is nothing more cozy or heart-warming, than good ol’ British fiction. The Scent of Water, is about a woman who inherits a cottage in the country from a distant relative. We follow Mary, as she gets to know the villagers, and transitions to country-life. Isn’t it everyone’s dream to receive a letter, saying that a distant relative has left you their entire estate, which just happens to be in the country?
2. The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Steifvater
On the small windswept island of Thisby, the capaill uisce are beginning to wash ashore before the Scorpio Races–the only place in the world where the ravenous water horses are trained to compete. Puck Connolly finds herself a contender for the prize in the deadly races, the only girl ever to do so. I read this book during the summer months, but even then, it transported me straight to October, and I could almost feel the sea spray on my face. This story is intense, and the atmosphere is so vivid, I can’t think of a better autumn read.
3. Into the Fire, by Kim Vandel
Kate is an ordinary college freshman, until one day she receives a calling to become a Guardian–chosen by God, and given supernatural abilities. It’s a call she must accept, and her life is changed forevermore. Set in Seattle, with gloomy days, and drizzly skies, Into the Fire has the perfect fall vibe. This is one of my all-time favorite books.
4. The Dark Hills Divide, by Patrick Carman
Twelve-year-old Alexa Daley, has found herself caught in the middle of a dangerous scheme which threatens the entire Land of Elyon. With strange forests, and talking beasts, Alexa must solve the dark mystery before it’s too late.
5. The Maine Woods, by Henry David Thoreau
A collection of letters, and journal entries, Thoreau writes about the times he would would visit and explore the yet-unknown parts of the Maine woods. He recites stories from his guides, records moose encounters, and offers much wisdom from his experiences. It’s been a couple years since I read this book, but I still think back on it fondly, and it’s one of my favorite non-fiction reads.
One of the first ways I notice the changing of the seasons, even when the days are still long and hot, is by the stars. The Bible says the stars are for signs and seasons, and I never understand that so well as when I see constellations like the Big Dipper, and even the Milky Way inching their way across the sky as winter approaches. Winter is a great time to stargaze, though it’s usually too cold to do so. But even in autumn, the stars are so clear, and nearly every night I see something spectacular, like planets and “falling” stars. If you are able, I highly suggest doing a bit of stargazing yourself.
By this time of year, most of the garden has either died, or been pulled up, save for a few tomato plants still clinging to life. But as the cooler months settle in, you have an opportunity to start up a whole new crop. Things like carrots, peas, lettuce, and kale rather prefer the not-so-hot days. A couple of weeks ago, I planted some bush beans from seeds I saved in the spring. They took a while to break through the soil, and I was starting to get nervous they weren’t viable, but one morning I noticed a tiny green shoot poking out, and now they’re growing by leaps and bounds. I’m hoping we’ll get a couple of harvests in before it freezes too hard. Which reminds me, I still have potatoes to harvest… I’d better get digging.
And lastly, to truly set the mood for any occasion, one must have music. In autumn, I tend to listen to more acoustic genres, or songs that are a bit melancholy. Maybe it’s the chill in the air, or the crispy leaves, but I often listen to songs that are even a little creepy, (like the classic Goosebumps theme song). I listen to lots of different styles of music, and I’ve put together a playlist of songs that I think suit fall-time well. Give it a listen, if you’re looking for something new. Check it out
I’ll conclude this post here, before I go on any longer, and you start getting sleepy. I hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe feel inspired to try some new ideas this autumn. Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end. May you enjoy this season, and all of its changes. I’ll see you on the other side.
What are some of your favorite fall things?