Autumn arrives quietly with shortening days and cooler weather. Her arrival is easy to miss in the time of harvest. There is no knock on the front door. She enters through the back door, quietly as if it is her own, and settles down in the kitchen and waits to see if you notice. If not for glancing the roadside drainage and taking notice of sumac’s change to ruddy red, Autumn would be missed as she sits, quietly, blushing as the rabbit rests beneath the branches of her leafy skirt. Her blush deepens as leaves drop now and again in the cooling days, the sunshine of hard work, and the evening resting of bones. Yet for all her ease, Autumn’s nickname is well deserved.
First freeze is light and easily experienced as a frosty morning. Hardly noticed. Except for the wilt of those leaves who carry water on their sleeves. Autumn has tired of sitting alone in the kitchen and her introverted self desires company, attention, responsiveness—know I am here! Spreading forth she calls on winter kin who lends her a hard freeze. Thermometer digits tumble and water within the thickest of leaf stems freeze. And the rabbit shivers as Autumn’s red skirt falls. For the remainder of the season she is known only by her nickname.
Leaves fall and her need for color wanes. Turning to the sky she lends her ruddiness to freezing sunrises and fixing sunsets. Leaving her to lay leaves, one upon another, to hearten ground as winter kin approaches.