Miracle of Autumn - October 2019 | Notes Archive »

After years of missing the “reds” in the panorama of the mountains, we have a glorious fall. Weather conditions have conspired to provide weeks of magnificent days — low humidity, sunshine, mountain breezes. This was the weather of New Hampshire before warming, and we are deeply content to experience it this year. Amidst the turmoil in America, a sweet few hours of outdoor splendor restores the spirit. The months of healing after surgery have been blessed with fine air and sunshine.

I hope you didn’t miss Ken Burns’ COUNTRY MUSIC on PBS. We have never been attentive to the subject, but this 8 part series has touched us deeply. Here is a slice of the purest of America — its suffering, resilience, power and soul. We’re fortunate enough to see Ken on his daily errands around his beloved Walpole, to be able to express gratitude for this distraction from politics and violence. It took 8 years to bring it to fruition, each segment bursting with detail and sensitivity. And… music.

Can’t get through a paragraph without referring to the swirling news in our country. Seems we have to find solace in art and beauty. Whatever one’s political leanings, it is turmoil and confusion. All our time-worn values seem to have disappeared, hopefully temporarily. It’s a perfect time to concentrate on the things of the past — the simplicity and creativity of our forebears.

Call it escape; who cares ???? As I look around the tiny room I’m in, I’m captivated by objects with soul.

Dolls in Conversation Crib
Conversation. Inspiration.

Maybe all those sterile design environments are affecting us with indifference. Articles in periodicals stress clean, sparse, icy decorating. Rid the place of the antiques and stage a stark interior and your house will sell faster. You must have an open floor plan, with stone and steel in your kitchen. Paint the brick walls white! Pickle the floors! Hang bizarre, modern light fixtures and put your sleek TV over the fireplace. Where’s the mantel? Gone. Too fussy. It’s all so redundant that the mind goes blank.

Dining Room and Couch Armoir in Room
Where I write. Parlour wall.

Well, reader, I am here to tell you that all of this has ushered in a very peculiar aesthetic in our country. The pendulum can’t swing fast enough in the opposite direction. Maybe Ken’s documentary signals that. We are more than ready for the warmth of the past.

This winter, hang garlands, fill bowls with pine boughs and cones, bake a country pie, and unfold the homespun linen. Feed your spirits! Forget HGTV for a season, and follow your own warm path.

The last delectable tidbits of the outdoors beckon. Please enjoy them.