Autumn Angst

Editor

Jack Houvouras

Jack Houvouras

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” – John Burroughs

As odd as it may seem, autumn used to be my least favorite season. While most people in Huntington count the cool and colorful season as their preferred time of year, for me it always brought on a sense of foreboding. Fall signaled the end of the long, warm, carefree days of summer. They were replaced by shorter days, cooler temperatures and the return to school. Gone were the days of playing hide-and-seek or kick-the-can with everyone in the neighborhood well into the night. No more sleeping in. Instead we rose with the alarm clock, marched off to school in the dark and returned to homework every evening. And last but not least, fall preceded the coming of winter and its cold, gray days.

However, in recent years, I have been able to shake free from those dreary vibes that were ingrained in me for so long. It all began 10 years ago when I moved to a home in the Huntington hills. There, each October, I am treated to some of the best fall foliage in the region. Surrounding my home is a kaleidoscope of colors — deep reds, fiery oranges and vibrant yellows, all cast against a backdrop of glowing green and sky blue. It is a canvas worthy of a painting.

Each year as the trees begin their transformation, I take long walks through the woods near my home and listen to the sound of dead leaves crunching under my feet. I savor the cool, crisp air that offers a much-needed reprieve from the steamy days of summer. I take in the aromas of the season — smoky fireplaces, dried leaves and mossy earth. My camera is always with me. I enjoy capturing the ever-evolving landscape and then sharing my photos with family and friends.

Autumn is also a time of year to break out your favorite comfort clothing. For some it’s a warm wool sweater, for others maybe smooth polar fleece. For me it’s soft flannel, which I wear every chance I get.

Autumn Angst

Finally, there are the many traditions of the season. Whether it’s carving pumpkins, picking apples, building bonfires or dressing up for Halloween, fall offers something memorable for everyone. Some of my favorite rituals include building the first fire of the season, making a huge batch of chili and watching football on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

As my father used to tell me, “Time heals all wounds.” For more than 40 years, autumn aroused in me feelings of apprehension and angst. But with each passing year those sentiments slowly faded, much like the colorful leaves on the trees near my home. 

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