The first 45 years of my life were spent in the Midwest and most of that in southwest Indiana where you were keenly aware of the changing seasons. My favorite times were Spring and Fall. Spring for the blooms and new life putting life where brown and gray had been in the preceding months. I liked Fall for the crispness in the air, the earthy smells that were so different from those of Spring, and for the richness of the colors. While promise always accompanied Spring, for me there was a touch of sadness and uncertainty to Autumn. You knew Winter was coming and were not sure of what that would bring.
The signs of approaching Winter were there for anyone to see: bright red sumac, orange yellow maple leaves, spider webs sagging from the weight of heavy dew, but I found it easy to slip into denial because of their beauty. More than jack-o-lanterns, Indian corn was the one reminder for me that cold weather was here to stay.
We returned to Indiana and spent the past weekend in the scenic hills of Brown County. While it was a bit before peak, there was still some nice color. The owners of the B&B where we stayed had done an exceptional job of decorating the property with scarecrows, straw bales, and corn stalks. Ears of Indian corn in a dazzling array of hues were hung near the doors and along the handrails next to the steps.
I spent quite a bit of time admiring their beauty and spoke to them before leaving. "It would be easy to be taken in by your beauty and stay here longer, but I know who you are. You are the harbinger of Winter and I plan to be back in Florida before that old man arrives here."