I have to add one more favorite to this year’s “Favorite Description of Autumn” category. The description I’m sharing today is not so much a description of the season of autumn as it is a description of the effect of the season on me. Of course, the description I chose comes from one of my favorite authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Back when she was a girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of autumn involved playing house in a cozy attic with her older sister, Mary and some squash and pumpkins. When she grew up and was busy running her own house and farm, Laura noticed that the change of seasons served as a reminder to stop and appreciate the scenery that was changing right before her very eyes, but which, because she was busy, she might miss if she didn’t slow down and enjoy the moment. From her essay, “An Autumn Day”:
“I have in my living room three large windows uncovered by curtains which I call my pictures. Ever changing with the seasons, with wild birds and gay squirrels passing on and off the scene, I never have seen a landscape painting to compare with them.
As we go about our daily tasks, the work will seem lighter if we enjoy these beautiful things that are just outside our doors and windows. It pays to go to the top of the hill now and then to see the view and to stroll through the wood-lot or pasture forgetting that we are in a hurry or that there is such a thing as a clock in the world. You are “so busy”! Oh, yes, I know it! We are all busy, but what are we living for anyway, and why is the world so beautiful if not for us? The habits we form last us through this life, and I firmly believe into the next. Let’s not make such a habit of hurry and work that when we leave this world, we will feel impelled to hurry through the spaces of the universe using our wings for feather dusters to clean away the star dust.
The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”
I needed that reminder.
See you in the stacks!