Autumn brings many pleasant things. The apples come off of the trees, ripe for eating. Cider begins to flow and find its way into the stores. I begin mulling my cider and baking pies. The leaves turn to fire and drop to the ground. The trees become bare and everything in this world begins to die. Autumn is the season of bounty and waning, of that final passionate explosion before the cold stillness of winter.
Solar Autumn runs roughly from the 21st of September to the 21st of December (varying a day in either direction from year to year), from Autumnal Equinox to Winter Solstice. Meteorological Autumn goes from September 1st to December 1st. Culturally, we tend to consider autumn as lasting from Labor Day Weekend to Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving. However you reckon the span of the season, autumn is the maturation of the year and a time when mischievous spirits run stronger than any other part of the year. Whether you interpret spirits to mean spectres or human moods, the trickster is surely present in each and every one of us. You don’t have to be so strongly associated with darkness to feel that Hallow’s Eve spirit. Nearly every child dresses up as either a ghastly visage or beloved pop culture icon, goes door-to-door, and demands a sweet treat. If one does not give the little hooligan an offering of appeasement, the mischievous nature may take over and pull pranks on you and your home! Adults find time to let their oft-suppressed rambunctious sides out as well. (see: Jenna Marbles’s rant about sluts on Halloween)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Autumn is apples. I thoroughly enjoy apple-picking. I have ever since I was a child. It’s more than the extremely fresh apples that are the fruit of the labor. It’s walking through an orchard full of twisted trees while an almost-crisp autumnal wind pushes at your back. It’s reaching up into the tree to find that perfect apple. It’s admiring one’s surroundings. It’s a short hike in a lovely man made wood. Apple picking is more than just the apples. That first bite into the Newtonian muse, fresh off the tree, is an experience that simply does not happen from a store bought pome.
In the year’s old age, when Demeter begins to cry and Hades’s fires grow stronger with passion, nature gives the most beautiful show. The leaves of every tree not deemed an evergreen turn from green to bright yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. Demeter weeps for the loss of her daughter, Persephone, and the subsequent autumnal rains rust the green away. A world of fire is born. The leaves, once vibrantly green photosynthesizers, now begin to change color and die, growing brittle and falling away as the trees retreat into dormancy for the winter ahead. We harvest our crops and begin preparations for the winter, when everything is absolutely dead, still, sleeping soundly in a crystalline purity. This last show of life, that spark at the moment of death, is breath-taking no matter how many times you’ve experienced it.
Home & hearth still have meaning to some, and this is so much more important this time of year than any other. Autumn is beautiful. I wish to mull some cider and sit next to a fire, eating the fruits of my year’s harvest with someone I love. I wish to write cold and hollow music, melancholic and melodic echoes of passion. I wish to celebrate with great festivity the Season of the Dead… the Season of Fire.
Here is some Autumnal themed music for your pleasure (after the jump).