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Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~ George Eliot

To borrow from writer/filmmaker Gordon Parks, half past autumn has arrived. I love this time of year. It seems obvious that I should hold some extra regard for my seasonal namesake, spring, and I do still love those months of buds and blossoms. But as the years go by, I find my allegiance shifting to autumn: trees the color of fire, the arrival of honeycrisp apples and little white pumpkins, the rustle of wind through dry leaves like the too-loud whisper of a 4-year-old in church. If I had to choose one example of how color moves me, it would be of a brilliant scarlet maple in early November.

There is also something to be said for this time of year that manages to be both riotous and predictable. For those of us who crave action, there is the daily shift from green to yellow, orange to brown; the potential for clouds that start cold and heavy to drop some sunshine in your lap a short time later. But if your favorite bedtime story has always been the one where you know the ending, then autumn is such a nice idea — much more comforting than leaping headfirst into the winter snow while your feet are still on hot summer grass.

I value transition more than I used to. I appreciate it when life gives me the chance to catch my breath and think, evaluate what’s happening now and make some choices. In my twenties, the word “gradual” felt about as inviting as cardboard and saltines. Now I find myself more inclined to set my internal cruise control to “one day at a time, thank you very much.” :) There is a heady sort of promise in newness and birth, but, for me, there is also much hope in the notion that all this change and growth are actually leading somewhere beautiful.

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. ~ Confucius