10.06.2010

The Sounds of Autumn

I've decided this year I'm really never using the word "fall" again to talk about this season, autumn. It's always bugged me, and I've decided to discard it, much like a wet leaf that's flown onto my jacket.

So what are the sounds of autumn? I always try to extend my senses each season and drink in what makes the season special. The sounds I've identified are breezes rustling through drier leaves on trees, trees lightly rapping and knocking their branches and trunk together, and leaves shirring on the ground against each other and against rough or moist surfaces.

For some reason, I've noticed a couple of patterns this year in my behavior, that lead me to understand/identify a somewhat peculiar autumn preparation. One of the patterns is my turning slowly back to WFMT, WBEZ, and BBC News on my radio dial (or rather, push buttons in today's cars). 

Another behavior is a change to mark the end of August. This year I got a tattoo on August 31. It wasn't planned, but it just happened that way. I can track back various other interesting happenings at the end of August from years past. One of which was when I turned  vegetarian on September 1 about 3-4 years ago. It was quite a journey, and I'm glad I'm a pescatarian today.

Another trend is soup cooking and chocolate hoarding. Delicious comfort foods. I began searching for and playing around with some soup recipes (more like stews really) that I cook in a jiffy in the smaller of two pressure cookers we own. And as it regards the chocolate hoarding, I've opted for fancy, handmade stuff from our local independent  chocolatier, Le Chocolat du Bouchard in downtown Naperville. Good stuff that one! I've also made instant chocolate pudding (they lied, it takes less than 3 cups of milk), screwed it up, and tried it again to much better results--especially when surrounded by Nilla wafers. I may try my hand at homemade choc pudding next. We'll see.

Another secretly lurking trend is my return to reading. Gladly I welcome this one! I've bought a book on grammar (The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation) which was highly extolled by one of my professors in two classes (including the two-meetings workshop I've signed up for this term), and was very, very disappointed when I found out I really didn't need it when I leafed through it last night. I've shoved it over to the significant-other unit's pile and will suggest he take a looksie. Another book was Book of the Ages: 30, which was fun but pointless. Not only am I a couple of years removed from 30, but the statistics are nothing you can't find elsewhere reading about millenials and gen-Xs.

Then I typically start reading up about pagan autumnal rituals, recipes, and other such themes of naturalist and local-vore nature. That hasn't started yet but I began a mental hoard/list.

So far, I'm enjoying the brisk change in weather and the different smells that accompany it: wet earth, grassiness, musk, and wood-burning fires. It was a bit of a shock leaving here with warm weather, then coming back after a week away at conference to see most of the leaves turned color, swept around our driveway and pathways with the breeze. Let's see what else I detect in patterns, and autumnal signals as the season deepens its hold. 

Here's to your own seasonal discoveries :o)