I love autumn. I love the slant of the sunlight in the morning and afternoon, the strange green of twilight, stars sparkling like drusy crystals in a field of Eilat stone. I love the colors, the riot of pale straw gold, and russet, crimson, amber, plum, and briliant orange. I love the smells, woodsmoke and raw pumpkin, baking squashes, and the earthy, dusty smell of fallen leaves, the ozone and sea smell of rain. I love the sounds the leaves make as the fall onto the roof, a skittering rustle outside the window that makes me wonder if there's a squirrel out there, only to realize it's just a leaf, again. I like the crisp, cool air, and the need for another blanket on the bed. There's an odd sort of melancholy anticipation that shades the entire season, at least for me. I can never quite put my finger on what it is I'm anticipating, but I know it's something good.
I always feel energized in the fall. Some people do spring cleaning, I do fall cleaning. Today I rousted my housemate and we took several old appliances that have been cluttering up the garage out to the 'hard to recycle' and electronic recycling centers, then I came home and swept out my half of the garage and made room for my old dishes that will be going with my kid-unit when moving out is done. I've been storing the boxes of dishes in the living room, it was nice to get them out of there. I needed a new lamp for my night-stand, my old one gave up the ghost last night (appropriate for the season!). There was nothing I liked at Target, but I did find one at Bed Bath & Beyond, a gooseneck with a purple shade and base. And for once I got out of there without buying out the entire store. (Note to self: only shop there when you have no money.)
Bought another pumpkin to carve. The first one was demolished by squirrels and/or raccoons. I'd never had the local wildlife bother my jack-o-lanterns before so I decided to store the previous pumpkin on the back porch until I had time to carve it. Big mistake. Apparently the reason they always left them alone previously was because I'd already scooped out the innards before I put them outside. Apparently they could smell the seeds through the hull, and when I went out to fill the bird feeder a couple of days later, I saw that my perfect-for-carving pumpkin had a squirrel-sized hole in its side through which trailed bits of pumpkin innard and seeds. Over the next few days additional, larger (raccoon-sized?) holes appeared and all the innards were removed. I wonder if some ancient Egyptian embalmers have been reincarnated as squirrels?
The reason I think a raccoon might have been at the pumpkin as well as the squirrels was because I saw one on the porch the other night. Bold as brass, she came right up to the screen door to check me out when I spoke to her. I suspect someone in the neighborhood must hand feed her, because she was absolutely not the least bit afraid of me. She was a big girl, too. I'd say probably forty pounds or so. She'd make about 5 of my cat. I don't know why I think it was a girl, but I do. I wanted to take a picture, but when I got back with the camera she'd taken off.
Anyway, blessed almost-Samhain to my fellow pagans. Don't forget to leave a plate out for the Ancestors on Monday night.