Two years ago I visited the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate in my homeland of Michigan. It is a grand estate and former house of the automotive magnate, now a museum and event center. I took this picture as I walked the grounds in Grosse Pointe Shores on Lake St Claire. Autumn was always my favorite time in Michigan as I was growing up. Even with it preluding the cold, cruel winter ahead, it was alive with color and crisp air that let you know were alive.
Having lived in southern California for over forty years now, I have come to be able to differentiate between the season...such as they are. Trees do lose their leaves in the fall, but here in Riverside, few put of the show like they do in the midwest and New England. The intolerable heat of summer does fade into the moderate temps of fall and mild winter for sure. Souther California this time of years in probably more user friendly..especially with the coming of winter. Yes, there is a winter prelude, a surrender of passionate days of summer and early fall, but you do need to look for it. At least here in the Inland Empire.
I do tend to get a little homesick this time of year. I want to hear the leaves crunch beneath my feet and see the flocks of birds flying south for the winter. I dream of cozy evenings in front of a blazing fire in the fireplace. Chile sounds so good about now...when you are in the chilled northlands. And I truly like wearing sweaters that hug and comfort me.
But then I think about the winters and I realize that windchill factors and ice covered roads are not for me. Yes, at this point in my life I could probably just stay home and gaze out on the beautiful snowscapes, warmed by the heater and snuggled in a hand-knit afghan. I remember the times my family would cozy up just to stay warm sometimes. But even togetherness is not enough to make me want to leave the moderate temps of our mediterranean-type climate.
Still its nice to remember a childhood of snowballs and snowmen, ice rinks and frosted window-panes. The hush on the world after a snowfall is breathtaking. And trees with their limbs covered by snow shows the artistry that is nature. But I was thinking about fall. Autumn. Harvest-time. Between autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It is a time my thoughts and heart return to a different time and place where I grew up and was much more content than I realized at the time.
And yet I am content now to remember those days. Prospective is everything. Thomas Wolfe may have said, "You can't go home again." But I like the words of Maya Angelou: "You can never go home again, but the truth is, you can never leave home, so its alright." Amen.