Autumn is here!

Every September, I am ready for fall. I long for cool weather, tall boots and light sweaters, and all of the autumnal foods: pumpkins and squashes and cinnamon and allspice. I am not one to freak out over the return of pumpkin spice lattes but I am ready to start eating pumpkin again!

American English calls this season fall or autumn, interchangeably, while in British English it’s just called autumn. “Fall” comes from the longer phrase “the fall of the leaf,” which replaced the term “harvest” around the 17th century. Etymologists aren’t quite sure of the origin of the word autumn but can trace its usage back as early as the 14th century.

Here is a list of some ways to enjoy the fall season:

– Savor the foods and spices of the season by incorporating them into meal planning. Acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash can all be the star at dinner, whether served filled with stuffing, as a soup, or with a Bolognese sauce, respectively. Pumpkin can pull double duty, either in a savory dish, such as ravioli, or sweeter ones, like bread or chia pudding. Spices are great to include, such as a pinch of cinnamon in chili, which adds a delicious surprise.

– Bring the smells of the season into your home by making your own potpourri, either simmering on the stovetop or in a dried version.

– If you have little ones, nature walks are great this time of year. They can search for leaves, pine cones, helicopters, and acorns, depending where you live. Crayon rubbings with leaves or making a collage with their finds is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

– Traditionally, our ancestors would start preparing for the long winter by canning and drying food. You can do this by taking a weekend or two to cut and pack veggies and meat to store in the freezer for future crockpot meals. Definitely time well spent.

– As the year approaches its close, spend time in reflection. The new year is great for turning the page and getting a fresh start and the best way to come up with New Year’s resolutions is to know what you’d like to work on. Look back on the past year and contemplate what’s happened. Maybe a relationship needs mending or an apology needs to be made. Ponder what needs to be done and end the year on a positive note.

– Start to slow life down. Get that book that you’ve been meaning to read for the last few months. Find some quiet time on the weekend before the daily activities start, curl up with a hot drink and a warm blanket, and read a chapter or two.

– I love listening to podcasts and The Living Experiment is one of my favorites. They have published an episode for the start of each season. Take a listen to the episode about fall/autumn:

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is already three-quarters of the way finished. It seems like we were just ringing in the new year not long ago. It can be disconcerting how fast it goes by as we get older. Don’t let it go by too fast and make sure to enjoy the little pleasures in life.