Wooden pumpkin

I NO LONGER fight it. It’s one of those things that’s going to happen like the swallows returning to Capistrano. Except in this case, it coincides with the swallows leaving in the first place. I mean, for the swallows to make a big annual point of returning to San Juan Capistrano every March, they have to leave, don’t they. And that happens in October. Every October. They make their flight to Argentina to soak up some resort climate during the winter, then they return on March 19, flawlessly, like the little predictable celebrities that they are. But it’s all because of this internal thing that tells them it’s October. And they must go.

Storage bins

That’s the only way I can describe the impulse that will not be denied, when I conscript my husband and teenage sons into the service of dragging the bins out of the attic, and I clear the way for the pumpkins and the other seasonal ephemera that signal Fall.


Lamp table

I don’t really have time to, but I don’t have the heart not to. It comes of loving the visual context. And creating a backdrop for enjoying the passing of the seasons.


And to be completely honest, it comes of a little obsession about family traditions. I’m a sucker for that look in my childrens’ eyes.

“There is something about saying, ‘We always do this,’ which helps keep the years together. Time is such an elusive thing that if we keep on meaning to do something interesting, but never do it, year would follow year with no special thoughtfulness being expressed in making gifts, surprises, charming table settings, and familiar, favorite food. Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts.” — Edith Schaeffer, from What Is a Family


It is, no doubt, the nip in the air that triggers it all. The air becomes as crisp as a perfect, new-crop apple, with the promise of a fire in the wood stove soon to follow.


The pumpkins, the leaves, and the bittersweet come out, and sweaters and hot soups are right behind.

Leaf pumpkin

And as the year marches unceasingly on, the pumpkins preside over the glory.

Copper pumpkin

The colors, the smells, the flavors, the textures.

Presiding pumpkins

The pumpkins preside over it all.

Happy autumn. Enjoy the glory!

~ Rachel