I know I’m not very unique in this way, but the smell of a campfire really is one of my favourite smells. I love it so much, that I feel this pang of sadness when I come back from camping and have to wash it out of my clothing and my hair.
I don’t know what it is about a fire that feels so comforting and soothing. Watching the flames dancing in the dark, the sound of the logs crackling, and then, as the fire dies down, the clustered embers sparkling in the dark, like a tiny glowing village. It all stirs up these feelings of nostalgia for me but I’m not sure what I feel so nostalgic for. For other times sitting in front of the fire?
I think, like all the elements, it also inspires the feelings of the change of season. A crackling fire reminds me of apple picking, the leaves turning colour, pulling out warm sweaters, big boots and all other things autumn.
It’s the same way that the smell of the earth thawing, as buds push their way up through the ground, and getting our hands in the soil evokes the feeling of spring.
It’s the same way that the smell of the salty ocean, the sound of crashing waves or of lake water running off the oars of a canoe, or even the neighbour’s sprinkler quenching the garden’s thirst, confirms that summer is here.
It’s the way the frosty air and smell of snow coming lets you know that winter is well on its way.
Anybody who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with food, and that the most exciting part of any season change for me is the menu.
So naturally, the first thing I think of when I see autumn leaves hit the ground, is what’s for supper, and autumn serves up some of my favourite dishes of all. I mean, it’s the ultimate season of comfort foods and drinks; end of season berries get baked in pies, along with bread and buns. Soups, stews and curries simmer on the stove, and root vegetables are roasted with fresh rosemary and sage; warm tea, hot chocolate, spiced cider and dark and stormies.
But the other thing I love about autumn is that it feels as much like a new year to me as January 1st does. It feels like the perfect time to refocus, to start planning, and to set the stage for a cozy creative winter. And hopefully, some of that cozy creative winter will also be spent sitting in front of a fire.
What I’m saying is, that beautiful bulbs may bloom in the spring, but they are planted in the fall.