Fall is a stepping-down time of year. I always picture it as a spiral staircase, twisting, matching the flight of leaves twirling down and down. I never think of just moving from summer through fall in to winter, it’s always a descent for me. Out of daylight into the darkness of winter evenings, from the warmth of the sun to the places where warmth comes in layers. Each year I willingly walk the path, and even while I am letting go of summer, stepping down into this chilly dark, I am in awe of the beauty of the descent.
The other day I looked out my office window and the sky was a pale shade of gray. But there, just in front of it were the most beautiful crimson leaves. Red leaves on a pale gray sky — it could have been a painting. It probably should have been. My grandfather could have done it justice, but I did not inherit his skill.
Transitions are tricky things. Rosamunde Pilcher wrote that the trouble with transitions is that you can feel the edges of two worlds bumping up against each other. I think she’s right. In either world, the world feels infinite, but in the transition you feel where things end and where they begin and that cane be scary. A friend of mine compares is to stepping into a boat. Even when you know the vessel is sea-worthy, stepping into causes movement and that little sway ripples doubt through an otherwise steady spirit.
To celebrate Fall and the beauty of this season I baked cookies with Shannon & Kendra and the girls. The hard shell cookie class we took last year is still coming in handy. One little technique, easily mastered and suddenly so many options exist. There’s a lesson in that. But for now, here are the cookies:
It was particularly satisfying to have an idea work out just exactly the way I hoped it would. I thought the leaves might work out and they did. The candy corn were Kendra’s idea — a brilliant one — and we didn’t let a lack of cookie cutter get in the way. Why did it never occur to me that you can just cut shapes out by hand? New and interesting cookies may be on the horizon.
It is time to go back to the water, I can feel it. It’s been a couple of weeks which is far too long. I need to finish the mediocre book I’m languishing in (or give up on it entirely), find something truly delicious to take its place and head for open water to commune. All I need is a hot coffee and warm blanket. I won’t miss the sun.