Fall is unequivocally here, on the calendar and in the air. Daytime highs are comfortably lower, nights are longer and the primary religion here has changed to college football. The leaves are just beginning to turn and fall but there are some early spots of color. Everything is changing along with the books we’re choosing – there’s nothing quite like autumn reading.
Perhaps it comes from the years we all spent in school, but autumn is the season when we reach for meaningful books, for stories that bring something with them besides primary characters and plot. History, both fictional and non-fiction, become more relevant in this season since autumn reminds us that time is passing. A new generation is starting school, while another has reached maturity and still another is passing on. After a summer of living in the moment, fall is a good time to reflect on life and to find your place in the scheme of things.
That doesn’t mean autumn tales are lacking in story. The greatest holiday for stories, Halloween, is in the middle of fall and reams of words surround it. Everything about Halloween stirs the imagination from elaborate costumes (Come As You’re Not Parties)…
…to the belief that a point of the earth’s orbit thins the membrane between life and death until it becomes permeable. All kinds of things can happen in the world like that and there are stories for every possibility. There’s a reason so many writers love Halloween. It’s a holiday composed of memory and imagination.
More than anything, autumn is a time of gathering in, for the harvest and for the soul, a time when an evening’s chill can make a good book and a warm fire the best company in the believable world. Fall may not contain the same verve that drove spring and summer but there’s a generosity here that favors and enriches the season. Here is the welcome of hearth and home and loving friends, real and in fiction. Enjoy this gold-spangled season and the tales that it offers. They are wondrous to behold.