Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice, if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you, is the motto of the state of Michigan. At no time of the year is that motto more true than in autumn.
As a life long resident of Michigan, I have grown to appreciate the changing weather for which the state is known. I love sunshine and warmth as much as anyone, but continued days of the same blue sky, sun, and heat does not seem right to my Michigan-trained senses.
Of the four seasons, autumn is the one that I most equate to my home town and the Upper Peninsula. I know that for some, autumn brings with it depression both real and imagined as it preludes winter, but for me the changing colors of leaves, the crisp, cool air, and the smells transport me back to a younger, less complicated time in my life.
Excitement for a new school year and seeing friends again, football, marching band practices, bomb fires, camp fires, walks through the woods, leaf piles, and jumping into leaf piles.
As the temperatures creep slowly towards freezing, the fall leaves stiffen and walking through them produces a distinct crunch. While spring has its delightful fragrances and beauty, autumn engages all the senses, sight, sound, smell, and with hot apple cider and donuts, yes, even taste.
The smell is what to me sets autumn apart from all other times of the year. It's as if as each amber and red leaf tumbles towards the ground, its fragrance is released into the air.
Are you struggling to remember long past and perhaps happier times? If you are fortunate enough like me to have grown up in and currently in the U.P. or anywhere else that has the signs of fall, go outside right now, close your eyes and inhale deeply. Listen to the sounds around and let the winds bring back the smile to your face.