Autumn Mood…

Deanna Eppers
4 min readOct 4, 2022

Finding beauty in this season, wherever you are.

Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary(Monty) on Unsplash

The slip of a crescent moon is westering early, and she’s swinging so low that the trees are still tangled with that early-to-bed moon. I had meant to enjoy a sunset walk on our quiet country road, but there’s always a flurry of activity as soon as we arrive at the cabin, so I put the walk on pause.

The drive once we left the highway looked lovely. I could almost fool myself into believing we were still in the throes of high summer as I watched the bright blue sky enjoying a waning sun. An odd tree threw up some orange branches, and even red peeked out of some valleys, but I steadfastly ignored them and decided to enjoy my last lull of summer.

Far to the south Hurricane Ian tormented the coast, and my husband patted my knee and told me I could take a sunset walk tomorrow. I pointed out the clouds to the southeast, knowing Ian’s arms were reaching for us. I sighed, and after we opened up the cabin and stored the food, I decided to take a walk down the road a bit.

Photo by Jake Weirick on Unsplash

As I made my way uphill to the top of the gravel driveway, the moon smiled at me just before she slipped over the horizon and I labored on. I decided to turn on the flashlight after I stumbled and twisted my foot on our road, but I’ve always welcomed walks in the dark. I just hadn’t counted on the country, peppered very sparsely with barns and small homes, being that dark. That black.

The winds hadn’t arrived just yet, and I promised my country-born husband I wouldn’t wander too far down our dead-end road. As I entered the tunnel of trees, I heard the yipping of many coyotes. They sounded far off to the north, so I kept making my way toward the horses. Visiting horses or cattle is a pleasure of mine, since they don’t mind if I drop in unannounced, and I don’t have to bring anything other than a smile.

I passed the family graveyard and scurried uphill, feeling foolish. I wonder why the father of the family isn’t buried with his “devoted” wife and children, and then I heard a truck coming down the road. In the country if a car drives by on your road it’s rude not to stop and have a conversation for a minute or an hour, so I tucked myself off to the side of the road. I hid.

My neighbor with all the horses had come home from work, and I decided not to bother him. Being neighborly is about timing, and a Thursday night is not a great time for a chat. With crickets and the occasional cicada singing and making me feel less alone in the deep dark, I turned around for home.

The next day brought the outer bands of the hurricane closer by the hour, so I drove down to our other farm to the north and made my way to North Pond. Fish shied away from me as I lay down on the dock, sunshine warming me, and I peered at the trees down by the creek.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

All in one night they had agreed to succumb to autumn. Yellows touched the tips of many trees, and the white and red oaks steadily dropped acorns. I had many flowers to cut by the creek, so I roused myself and found the field that my husband said had never been cut. Daisies, black-eyed Susans, thistles, and some blue flowers were cut and then filled the back of my ATV, and I delighted in finding a new tree with many nuts still stubbornly hanging on the branches.

My husband drove over to make sure I was fine, and I didn’t even hear him approach, so immersed in cutting and gathering was I. He showed me where better plants might be found, and I drove down a ways. The sun started to slip behind the tall maples as I roamed the creek bottom. The flowers are for my daughter. I’m going to show her how to make a wreath out of wildflowers.

Full of fresh air and keeping a watchful eye on the clouds making their way west, I went home to discover my daughter and her family had decided to join us! That’s what this cabin is meant for: our family and friends are welcome to drop in and enjoy being in the middle of nowhere.

I don’t often just write about myself, but I thought you might enjoy the tales of time in the country. Life is full of pain and trials, but if we make the most of what we have to enjoy in this life then we’ve gained beauty. If you can drive to the middle-of-nowhere this month, think how rich your life will feel. Think of storing up the colors and scents of October.

The city is a fine place for many days, but breaking free and marveling at even one beautiful tree is enough sometimes. Isn’t a drive worth it? Just to see the the colors, the large sky and maybe even spy a deer dining on acorns?

I hope you can grab a handful of October and hang on for the wild ride.

--

--

Deanna Eppers

Musician, ex-CPA at KPMG Peat Marwick, volunteer, decorator, renovating another house, mom to three, wife to one, blogs about finding happiness