The question went out to girlfriends, daughters, sisters, nieces: What are your favorite things about autumn?
You might be surprised at some of the responses.
One of my friends thanked me for “the opportunity to reflect.” Which is my hidden purpose in sharing autumn joys — to persuade us all to look around and name:
… the things we would miss if we lost our eyesight and couldn’t see the radiance of leaf color.
… the things we would miss if we lost our taste buds and couldn’t relish in Thanksgiving pie.
… the things we would miss if we lost a beloved family member or friend and couldn’t kick through dried leaves, or cheer at football games, or sit around a bonfire with them.
May our hearts open to the abundance of love and life and simple pleasures that we enjoy in a free land that so many people around this globe haven’t experienced.
Compiled here is a list. Not a to-do list—although I have a thing for to-do lists—but rather a “Wow-didn’t-mean-to-take-that-for-granted” list.
And so, let the “Wow” list begin.
“How deep blue the sky is in September, and how the light changes to golden from summer-glare. The first morning we wake up to frost. Treasuring the leaves because we’re about to lose them. The first bit of red on the tips of the maples. Knowing my birthday is around the corner! Basking in the last bits of heat. Driving around with my seat heater on and the sunroof open. Finding all my fall clothes and hats. Wearing wool socks for the first time. The abundance of veggies at a harvest season farmer’s market. Making soup. Anticipating … winter!” — Michelle Poirot
“The changing colors—the brilliance of colors—always spectacular!
Sweaters, sweatshirts and a cup of hot tea!” — Paige Porter
“I love the solitude of the uncrowded trails.” — Kattaryna Stiles
“One of my favorite things to do in the fall is hiking the Great Smoky Mountains with family and friends. The bright colors are painted across mountains and valleys and makes for a beautiful scenic adventure. I love soup! I love making it, smelling it, and eating it!! Fall is the perfect time to bring out all my favorite soup recipes and enjoy them on our wrap-around porch. Of course we have the advantage of enjoying the view of the beautiful mountains, so that helps too!!” — Angie Johnson
“By far, my favorite autumn thing is going apple and pumpkin picking with my family. The fall sun is still warm and yet the air is cool which makes it the perfect time of the year to be outside picking crisp, sweet apples and the most perfect pumpkins we can find.” — Karen Arnold
“The fall leaves and cooler weather.” — Carolyn Wirth
“It has to be the leaves turning a brilliant shade of red. Also the change of weather — autumn brings a crispness in the air that is refreshing.” — Chris Gorman”
I love the change of colors from cool pastels to a mixture of warm golds. I love the cool breeze that does away with sultry heat. I love nut breads and pumpkin pie.” — Ginni Kennedy
“I like the sense of settling in, the sun shining through the colored leaves, the cool nights that give way to warm comfortable afternoons. I like the way it smells, fresh with a hint of wood burning stoves being used.” — Stacey Womack
“I love crisp mornings with the scent of wood fires drifting gently in the air. Gradually all of nature shifts gears to riotous colors and ends with the season of bare sticks and golden grass.” — Kathy Gibson
“I’m a sporty girl so it would definitely be the start of football season and watching my fantasy football players dominate. ; ) I also like boot and sweater season!” — Denise Johnson
“It’s actually my favorite time of year. Changing of the weather, hunting season, football and baking.” — Laurel Johnson
“I love watching my kids jump in the colorful leaves. I also enjoy the sound of my husband and boys yelling at the TV during fall football games.” — Michelle Bader
“I still feel as if I am in summer, but the rain outside and cooler temperatures are telling me it’s on the way out the door. What do I like about it? Well … it’s time to get serious about schedule. Time to quit meandering through town, eating an ice cream cone. Time to light a candle and do some work. There’s also football! Go Ducks.” — Nancie Carmichael
“When the light in the sky begins to change, fall colors come out only one time a year and getting the urge to make soups are my favorite parts of autumn. Oh, and I like the romantic sound of ‘autumn’ over ‘fall’. (No one would name their child Fall … but Autumn is beautiful!)” — Kitty Bennett
“God’s color palette! Crisp air is invigorating, too!” — Susan Westberg
“I love pulling my sweaters, hoodies and boots out of my closet. I love the changing colors of the trees. I love dropping my kids off at school again. I love that it’s not too cold and not too hot outside. I love that football season is here and that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I love an excuse to make soup and roast veggies for dinner. (Sorry that’s more than you asked for, but I’ve never been good at following the rules.)” — Summer Conn
“Shorter days, the fall foliage, and the change in weather remind me that life is always in motion. Turn, turn, turn. — Nancy Foss (One of Nancy’s favorite autumn quotes):
To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.
— Ann Patchett
“Oh so many things! I love the brisk fall breezes, the chilly nights, not yet freezing, the brilliant colours of the trees and shrubs — orange, yellow, red, purple, dead leaves crunching underfoot and kicking them up into the air, breathing, breathing, breathing the smells of autumn deep into my lungs! Oh, and that first mug of hot cocoa!” — Sally Slick
“One of my favorite things about Autumn is the rise of Andromeda in the night sky. Andromeda is the closest major galaxy to our own: our galactic neighbor. It’s 2.5 million light years away, but we can still see it with our naked eye!” — Charity Woodrum
“Return to daily routine, especially around school startup and schedules. Love when we get warm days and crisp nights, and the smell of fall.” — Debbie Ritzenthaler
“I love cool Autumn air that calls for sweaters after sundown. I love changing colors of vine maples in the hills decorating highways with ribbons of red, orange, and yellow. I love the sound of hydraulic doors on school buses welcoming small passengers to another day of learning.” — Julie Johnson
“Autumn warms my heart with the blaze of reds, oranges, golds, and lime green that adorn aspen and cottonwood in the Ochoco Mountains. I’m also reminded of the years we had season tickets on the 50-yard line and sat in the cool, sometimes cold, evenings not only watching the game, but the large yellow orb rise over the rimrock to the east.” — Alice Austin
“Hmmmm decorating for Christmas (lol), candles, fires in the fireplace (or as I do it – on the TV screen), hot chocolate and tea. I even love the short days and long evenings.” — Cheryl White
“#PSL (pumpkin spice latte), colors, jackets, when you take a shower and your bones get warm and your body steams. Apple pie, soup season. I like it when the house gets so cold that my nose gets cold and I’m cozy in my bed.” — Angie White
“Crispness in the air, colors — red and orange, and hot drinks.” — Heidi White
“I love the sound of walking on a sidewalk slathered with fall leaves and the crunch under my feet.” — Barbara Winterfeld
“My favorite is celebrating mid-autumn festival with family. Traditionally, for mid-autumn festival, families come together to have dinner then enjoy the beauty of the full moon and beautiful lanterns while eating mooncake. Till this day, mooncakes are one of my favorite traditional Chinese desserts.” — Qiwen Liang
“Tennessee Vols football, bonfires, stargazing, Apple Hill, family time, Thanksgiving, hammock swings and a good book. There is just something about fall that seems like all is right with the world and anything is possible.” — Bre Canclini
“I love that the air turns brisk and fresh, which puts me in a positive mood. This weather is my favorite for a long ride on my golden palomino.” — Lauren Dyer
“My favorite thing about Autumn is the cool weather and occasionally being able to cuddle up on the couch on a weekend day in the middle of the afternoon while it’s raining and not feeling too guilty about it!” — Kristen Forbes
“My favorite things are the cool crisp mornings and mild afternoons. I love the colors and smells of Fall.” — Ann Bence
“For me fall brings families together with pumpkins, jumping in fall leaves, laughter and love! Sipping on coffee by a campfire, enjoying life and family!” — Linnea Worden
“Walking under a canopy of fall leaves — yellow, orange, and red.” — Allison McCormick
“I love being outside riding my bike, or running any time of the year. But the fall is my very favorite. The change in the air is somehow comforting. The colors of orange, red and brown mixed with the smell of a fire in someone’s fireplace brings me to a place, if even for a little while, that everything is alright in the world.” — Nancy Whitlatch
“Family, hunting, and fall colors.” — Wendy Johnson
“Fall is my very favorite time of year. I can make a fire and put dinner in the Crockpot, cuddle on the couch and watch movies or read a good book without feeling I need to be outside doing something! I love big sweaters, big bulky sweatshirts and any kind of boots — rain, snow, furry. I love that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner because I know we will be with family!!” — Sabrina Hagl
“All together the feeling of fall — it’s joyous! A brisk sunny day followed by a breezy rainy one. The flowers fading away, leaves coloring, as nature shuts down for a winters nap.” — Lynne Byers
“I love when the air is finally cold in the morning and walks are refreshing.” — Jennifer Mallory
“I like hunting with my daddy (of course!), all the pretty trees, and sweaters and leggings, and the smell of fall candles.” — Lexie Kilgore
“I love the fresh, crisp air in the mornings. And I enjoy the crunch of the freshly fallen leaves when I step on them.” — Amy Jones
“I would say … the excitement of the kids when I put out all of the pumpkin and fall decorations.” — Brittany Manzi
“Fireplace lit. Candles flickering. Homemade pumpkin scones. Actually, anything pumpkin. I knit year-round, but autumn coolness puts me into a more voracious knitting mood. ” — Marlys
“I am filled with gratitude for each season. I love to watch the trees change color and the air take on a certain crispness that only comes with fall. It’s a reminder to me that God has a divine plan and a purpose for not only the earth but for each of us.” — Ann Marie Johnson
“Fall is my favorite season because I like to feel the brisk air and especially calm quiet days without tourists. I watch the leaves about to change colors and the little animals gathering and storing their foods for winter.” — Bina Bishop
“I love autumn. The changing colors, the crisp mornings and evenings, the scent and “crunch” of dried leaves underfoot. I LOVE SWEATERS … and sweater weather. I love taking a walk wearing mittens and then warming fingers and toes with a cup of spicy hot tea on my return. I love autumn.” — Mary Tomjack
“I love the crisp morning air and the way the sun feels especially warm and luxurious—maybe because we know each sunny day might be the last one we get for a while. And I love the colors and scents of fall—so bold it makes you want to stop and breathe it all in.” — Beth Vice
“Every year we drive over to the Oregon coast in the Spring and Autumn. But the drive during the Fall is filled with such beauty with all the amazing colors along the way that it takes my breath away.” — Fran Swain
“Reading by the fire. Meeting friends for coffee. Pumpkin spice. Picking apples. Making apple crisp. Hiking up Table Rock. Driving through town to see the Fall foliage.” — Lori Perritt
“What’s not to love about fall? I love it when the trees change into their riot of colors — the brightest tones of reds, oranges, browns and yellows. And while we typically think of pumpkin spices as the flavors of fall, I look forward to the crispy sweetness of fresh fall apples all year long!” — Lizzi Katz
What are your favorite things about autumn? Why not start a gratitude journal with your list?