Thursday, October 24, 2013

Autumn Descends

Today we had our first cool day in Central Florida.  It was mostly cloudy, and the temperature didn't surpass about 70 degrees.  That sounds warm, but down here, after a long, hot, humid summer, 70 degrees feels like pure autumn, and I love it!  The trees here tend to drop leaves all year round, but the sycamores actually go through a yearly cycle not unlike the more temperate north.  Starting about now their great, broad leaves start to dry and brown, and slowly drift to the ground, and by late December they're entirely bare and stark. I feel fortunate to have some sort of sycamore-like shrub next to the house which even turn colors before they drop - bright reds and oranges, mostly - which gives me a small and deeply appreciated taste of a northern fall.

I spent most of my life in a northern climate, with all four seasons.  When I was a child the winter was my favorite - the colder the better.  I even tapped our front yard maple tree one year in March and managed to produce about an ounce of maple syrup.  I dreamed of being a dog-sled racer, wearing snow-shoes regularly (and in fact my parents bought me a pair for Christmas one year), and enjoying the sun twinkling on the new fallen snow.

As I grew older I began to appreciate the summer more, and found the long months of winter a bit burdensome.  The early winter is always lovely, especially the first snow, but by late January I started to yearn for spring....and yet still had 2-3 months left of ice, slush, and gray skies.

Fall was always a fun time, and it was a season I began to deeply love more than all other seasons, and I suppose it still is my favorite season.  The leaves change colors slowly, and fall foliage in late September is quite breathtaking.  I love the fall activities of apple picking, and cider-drinking.  I enjoyed preparing for Halloween, which then led into the series of holidays I adore (which I'll focus on in an up-coming Samhain post!).  I savored the breath of fresh, crisp air after a warm summer.

So moving to Florida was both exciting and also a bit sad for me, when I considered the seasons I'd be leaving behind.  Well, okay, I wasn't going to miss much of winter...but fall?  Definitely.  And indeed our first fall here was quite bittersweet.  The local Starbucks and other shops would ironically tape paper cut-outs of autumn leaves in their display windows.  I'd been under the impression that Florida would be warm and humid year round, and was pleasantly surprised that first year to learn that Florida does indeed have its own seasons, that perhaps are best described as wet/dry, or summer/fall.  There is no true winter here, but a Central Florida "winter" is like the most pristine fall one could imagine.  The air is very dry and cool (so dry that we even have wildfire warnings).  It hardly ever rains.  Sometimes in January it gets cold enough to create a brief glaze of ice on the windshields, though it never snows. I'm grateful for that hint of season, and thoroughly enjoy every day from late October to early April.

Today was our first truly cool day, and during my evening stroll with my husband I could even smell the beloved scent of woodsmoke in the air.  Brown leaves were strewn across the grass and sidewalks, and it felt like autumn had finally arrived.

So I wanted to share a few of my favorite autumn cards - the ones that remind me most keenly of what I love most about this we go:

DruidCraft Tarot/Will Worthington
Llewellyn Tarot, The Wheel of Fortune
Anna Marie Ferguson 
Wildwood Tarot/Will Worthington

So with that I will conclude this post so that I can go watch the sun finish setting, and the stars come out!


  1. What a beautiful post. It almost seems like another goodbye to the seasons you love so dearly
    I am happy for you that you have found another rhythm in the year. As long as you can see the wheel turning :)
    And the moon,sun and stars are everywhere

    1. Thanks, Ellen :) I love that the night sky accompanies us wherever we may be!