Bouquet of sharpened pencils…
by Holly Varni
September 12, 2013

Autumn leaves

“I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils…”

Do you remember this line from a famous movie? One of the main characters was talking about autumn and how it made him feel to the other character. He was saying how the fall season made him feel like buying school supplies and that if he knew her name and address, he would send her a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.

Can you guess it? It was Tom Hanks playing Joe Fox in “You’ve Got Mail.” He and Meg Ryan were emailing back and forth and he was overcome with the excitement that September air carries.

New school supplies are only the beginning of what images autumn evokes. Beautiful leaves, comfy sweaters, football games, boots, rainy mornings, windy afternoons, jackets, lovely cups of tea or cocoa and long walks.

Fall is my favorite time of the year and I’m not alone. Thousands make pilgrimages to the north to catch the splendor of leaves changing to crimson red, bright gold and burnt orange.

Stanley Horowitz once wrote, “Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting and Autumn a mosaic of them all.” Mmmm, a mosaic of them all…I love the truth within that statement.

The blending of colors that catches our breath and forces us to simply stare at something we had no control over. Every year when leaves transform into a flaming red, darken to deep plums and lighten to apricot and amber colors, we feel as though it’s a miracle. The landscape becomes an ever changing canvas that puts us in awe.

Autumn creates an intimate sense of home, comfort and beauty. We instinctively transition into a different way of existence. Food that is more hearty and substantial is served, thicker clothing is worn and extra blankets are draped over the bed. It is our “pre-hibernation” mode. People get ready for the harshness of winter by relishing the bliss of crisp dewy mornings and the kaleidoscope of color.

My favorite representation of Fall above all else, is the presence of pumpkins. I love pumpkins. I love the sight of them, the color of them, the feel of them and anything you can make with them. Forget the bouquet of sharpened pencils, send me a pumpkin!

Since I live in an area where the changing of leaves is pretty dismal, I make up for it with pumpkins. Every year, I fill our yard with them. We do not grow them, so I must sneak them home from the grocery store and quickly place them under the trees in the front yard. One by one, I keep adding and placing them throughout the yard with a little sign and scarecrow that says, “Welcome to my pumpkin patch.”

This drives my husband crazy. He comes home from work and asks, “Did you buy more pumpkins?!” With widened eyes and a confused look as if I don’t understand the question or even what pumpkins are, I reply, “More pumpkins? Hmmm, let me look our front. I don’t think it looks different.”

I methodically collect them until I have enough to line our walkway for the trick-o-treaters on Halloween. To my husband’s dismay, my first pumpkin is always purchased the first week of September. “Halloween is a month and half away! They’ll rot,” he complains. Nevertheless, my stashing begins.

A couple placed by the door, then the bushes and then under the trees. Inside the house, baby and mini pumpkins adorn my tabletops and counters. My kids roll and spin them while waiting for dinner, smiling at how more appear every day magically.

I think one reason why everyone seems to love autumn is because the change of temperature and warmth of color reminds us how life is changing and passing by one season at a time. It is for us to embrace and savor. Whether it comes in the form of wool socks, a bowl of hot soup or the presence of fat pumpkins all over your house, it makes us more alive.