Autumn’s Bounty is Most Alluring

“The falling leaves drift by the window

The autumn leaves of red and gold
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song …”
“Autumn Leaves”

Autumn’s bounty is most alluring
Autumn’s bounty is most alluring

Weather-wise, I consider myself a very fortunate man to be living in the charm of New England.

Where else can you go to enjoy the four seasons, each in its own element? Vivaldi must have been on to something when he composed his eclectic “Four Seasons” symphony.

Of the lot, I somehow gravitate most to autumn, not only with Vivaldi’s music, but the overall spirit of the fall season.

You might have a case for the delicate snow scenes of winter after a fresh fall. You could certainly create an argument for spring when nature receives its wakeup call.

And summer holds its place with vacations, water activity, and good warm sunshine. Keep the humidity. Give me a dry heat.

Come October, you’ll find me exploring Nova Scotia and its quaint fishing villages along the Cabot Trail while working our way toward Prince Edward Island.

I booked the trip then, only because I wanted the fall foliage to complement my journey. Being a photographer, I look for scenic activity along the way to further entice my camera.

I also enjoy all that autumn has to offer me in terms of personal reflections. As a child, I welcomed Halloween. In my later years, Thanksgiving was a special family moment—and still is.

If you’ve ever seen the Norman Rockwell illustration of a family seated around a table with a turkey being ogled, that’s me at the forefront. My bounty isn’t a table sagging with food.

It’s a table loaded with children and loved ones. Autumn gives me that unadulterated pride.

My birthday falls in late September, along with my daughter’s in early October. To simplify matters, we celebrate our birthdays together.

There is also a tinge of sadness that befalls the season—when I must close my summer camp on the lake and return to the real world. Dislodging pipes and draining water isn’t some of my favorite moments but it goes with the territory.

But still, September on a lake ushers in its own complacency with the sudden absence of boat traffic and tourists. The place takes on a splendor of its own if you can picture it. The sunsets become more lucid and the foliage color simply reflects off the shoreline.

It is nature’s way of telling us that beauty is often being showcased on its own pedestal if we take the time to enjoy it.

There’s a certain melancholia which goes along with the season. The aftermath of summer is behind us with all the humidity and yet to arrive is the chill of winter.

I meander to church fairs and bazaars in pursuit of the unknown. My harvest lies within the premises, not to mention some of the idyllic food that’s served up.

The children are back to school and you’re back to normal after a surge of summer camps, frenetic vacations, and exhausting day trips. Okay, some are pleasant, I know, but isn’t it good to be back home no matter where you might venture?

As someone who enjoys the poetry of John Keats, check out his ditty called “To Autumn” where he describes the season as a time of “mellow fruitfulness.” I imagine he also included pumpkins in his bucolic verse.

I remember spending one autumn in the country of Armenia and it became the ultimate experience. They, too, cherish the season for its succulent fruits and vegetables. It’s actually the best time to visit any country overseas.

I never did get to see Germany during an Oktoberfest celebration but they tell me it’s the ultimate vacation, beer-drinking aside.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The best fall colors are found inside the cemeteries. I don’t know what it is, but the foliage is at a crescendo inside these burial grounds.

I often gravitate toward them when I saunter along in my travels. A walk through the park is nothing compared to a stroll in the cemetery.

As a mountain-climber, summiting a peak in New Hampshire or Vermont is the resplendent with awesome color for as far as the eye can see. Even some of the shorter climbs are filled with rapture when you greet the top.

The birds sing us their song and the trees sway to the breeze with a harmony of their very own. Add the scent of pine to your room and the magic accelerates.

Ah, yes, and don’t forget to gain that hour we lost in the spring. Enjoy the season for what it brings. There’s nothing like it.

Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian

Tom Vartabedian is a retired journalist with the Haverhill Gazette, where he spent 40 years as an award-winning writer and photographer. He has volunteered his services for the past 46 years as a columnist and correspondent with the Armenian Weekly, where his pet project was the publication of a special issue of the AYF Olympics each September.
Tom Vartabedian

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