I’m carefully perched on a ladder in my front yard, washing windows. In a spurt of energy, I’m finally cleaning out the front porch, sweeping thoroughly, gathering items for recycling, and putting up my basket collection on the wall, things that have been on my to do list for awhile. I blame it on the coming of fall.
The weather has turned. The glorious season of autumn is here. Skies that were heavy with rain are now blue speckled with clouds and the sunlight streams down on the changing landscape. Like an impressionist painting, hints of colour splash the trees and grasses, showing up their textures and forms. The temperature is dipping down and, in the morning, when I walk the dog, I pull on my ear warmers and put on an extra layer.
As fall arrives, it takes me along for the ride and I’m ready. First, I make sure we have plenty of firewood for the stove and the outdoor oven. Then, it’s time to pull up the dying tomato and green bean vines. But there’s more. The cooling wind clears out my mind. I can see clearly now and all those things that were in the fog, on the back burner, show up front and center: projects put on hold, household remodeling ideas, recipes to try. Creativity is making a comeback.
As I shed myself of summer’s skin, I find a new me emerging. I stop the daily watering of the garden. I put my canner in storage after finishing the last load of pickled beets. I put away the lightweight clothes and sandals. And slowly change the ingredients in my pantry. Beans and pasta make a comeback. I stock up on flour and baking spices. But I also make room for other indoor projects. I find my stash of yarn and bring it up from the basement. I get my pile of woodblocks replenished. And I scan the house for work that needs to be done.
As the natural world outside my window slows down, I take the time to again review my world. My priorities change along with the colors of the leaves. I watch the grasses and flowers go to seed and I let go of some of my baggage. It’s fall cleaning time, literally and metaphorically. Time to start afresh and look forward. This is where the energy comes from and I will make the most of it until the next season comes around.
So get out your jacket, take a walk in that refreshing air, watch the world unwind and get to work on your fall cleaning. Winter will be here before you know it.